The European Parliament, the Council, and the Commission have come to an understanding on the legislation regarding the so-called geoblocking identified by many people as unfair. According to the statement, the new rules will prohibit geoblocking in three main cases:
· The sale of goods without physical delivery. Example: A Belgian customer wishes to buy a refrigerator and finds the best deal on a German website. The customer will be entitled to order the product and collect it at the trader’s premises or organise delivery himself to his home.
· The sale of electronically supplied services. Example: A Bulgarian consumer wishes to buy hosting services for her website from a Spanish company. She will now have access to the service, can register and buy this service without having to pay additional fees compared to a Spanish consumer.
· The sale of services provided in a specific physical location. Example: An Italian family can buy a trip directly to an amusement park in France without being redirected to an Italian website.
The Regulation does not impose an obligation to sell and does not harmonise prices. It does, however, address discrimination in access to goods and services in cases where it cannot be objectively justified (e.g. by VAT obligations or different legal requirements).
The new rules will come directly into force after nine months from the publication in the EU Official Journal, to allow in particular small traders to adapt.
For more information here.