Skip to main content
Shaping Europe’s digital future
News article | Publication

E-commerce: Commission publishes new guidance for ending unjustified geo-blocking and making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable

The Commission has issued updated guidance for ending unjustified geo-blocking to help Member States and businesses active in the area of e-commerce to adapt to the new rules which start applying across the EU as of 3 December 2018.

The rules against unjustified geo-blocking complement a number of other measures put forward by the Commission in 2016 to boost e-commerce in Europe (see factsheet). With these measures, the Commission wants to allow consumers and companies, to buy and sell products and services online more easily and confidently across the EU. Vice-President Ansip in charge of the Digital Single Market said: "Our initiatives will make it easier for people to shop online and for companies to reach new markets. To make the new rules work properly, all parties involved need to be fully informed and committed to applying them in their daily work. This guidance is part of the Commission's broader efforts to boost e-commerce, through its proposals to simplify VAT rules, facilitate cross-border parcel delivery and payments, and strengthen consumer protection". The new questions and answers on geo-blocking will help Member States to ensure a smooth start, by providing practical assistance to consumers, responsible authorities and traders. 

A new Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services entered into force earlier this year (see press release and the MEMO) and the Commission now helps to ensure the proper roll-out of these new rules in the Member States. An implementing act adopted today specifies the information that parcel delivery service providers will have to hand in to national regulators. This will lead to increased transparency and improved regulatory oversight on the EU parcel market. Both documents are issued ahead of the meeting of European competitiveness ministers on 27 September, as they will also discuss the state of play of the Digital Single Market e-commerce initiatives.

More information on Geoblocking