Consumers and businesses show an increasing interest in shopping and selling across the EU. Online sales of products are growing by 22% per year. However, some traders still make it difficult for customers from another EU Member State to buy online or to benefit from equally advantageous prices in comparison with local clients. Vice-President Ansip and Commissioners Bieńkowska, Jourová and Gabriel met in Strasbourg with members of the European Parliament to take stock of the progress made in breaking down the barriers to e-commerce in the EU and discuss next opportunities and challenges.

Collage of 4 photos showing a family at an entertainment park, a woman looking at her mobile phone in a shopping street, a man looking at his mobile in a city and someone working on a laptop with the Paris cityscape in the background

On this occasion, Vice-President Ansip said:

Together with the end of roaming charges, the modernisation of data protection rules and the possibility for citizens to travel with their online content, several initiatives on e-commerce are making the Digital Single Market a reality for all and creating new digital rights. For that purpose, we also need the new rules ending unjustified geoblocking to be applied correctly from day one. This is why we have issued practical guidelines aimed at helping online sellers to adapt to the new rules before they fully apply.

 As of 3 December, Europeans will be able to shop online without unjustified geoblocking wherever they are in the EU.

As of next year, citizens will be able to compare parcel delivery costs more easily and benefit from more affordable prices for cross-border parcel delivery. The news rules on value added tax for e-commerce will simplify taxation process for the entrepreneurs as of 2021.

Other proposals are being currently discussed in the European Parliament or negotiated between the institutions, such as contract rules for sale of goods and supply of digital content and the new deal for consumers. The aim is to agree on these new rules before the end of the current European Parliament legislature so that consumers and businesses take all the advantages of online commerce.

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