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Geoblocking in online trading : Finally, limitless shopping?

discrimination in online shopping has come to an end – only that's noticed so far, hardly anyone. Last December, the EU regulation with the number "2018/302" came into force. Your goal: the limits of retail cross in the European Union and put a stop to the so-called Geoblocking.

Previously, about a Spanish shoemaker could not determine that he delivers online orders to other countries. Or that he sends his goods to a maximum of up to Belgium, but not in the East of the EU. Or that the prices in the online shop are for non-Spanish customers is higher than for country people. Some of the website was programmed simply so inflexible that it has accepted no Latvian address or Slovenian credit card. All of these are forms of discrimination, against which the regulation "2018/302".

Actually, a great thing, but right around the achievement is not obvious. "My Team gets the theme currently two to three calls per week," says Ann-Katrin Zabel from the centre for European consumer protection. There will be questions, complaints come. Sometimes to small online shops, and sometimes to large companies such as Zalando and Amazon.

usually Zabels Team refers to the Federal network Agency to enforce the regulation. Here, too, the number of messages, according to speakers at a low-double-digit range. A riot of self-conscious citizens of the EU, insist on their rights, looks different.

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The shipping needs to be revised

Only the traders are concerned. Consumer activist Zabel tells the story of how she has recently held a lecture in front of small business owners: "see, especially the large administrative burden that could now be coming to you." So traders need to revise the part of your dispatch system. The Spanish Schuster may also be instructed to limit continuing its deliveries to Belgium, he now has to find a German solution to the customer, such as may come to his order – due to additional costs or by the customer delivery service.

In the case of huge online retailers that may be no more effort. For the little Shoe-Shop, gets per year, maybe three orders from abroad, is likely to be different. "We have to convince the dealer of the opportunities," says Ann-Katrin Zabel.
Because the chances are there are quite. As a study by the auditing company PwC, the German per year, more than five billion euros in foreign online shops. And the Numbers are on the rise. 71 percent have ordered in the last two years, in the case of dealers outside Germany. Two years earlier, there were still 56 percent. About half of the customers ordered clothes and shoes. Thereafter, consumer electronics, video games, music, movies and books follow.

Order neighbors

Often, the delivery from other EU countries. Among the customers of foreign online stores have almost bought every Second in the case of a UK platform. Before that, only China, with 59 per cent. Apart from the USA on rank three of all front seats from the EU are occupied States: Austria, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain. On the country data and the ban on Geoblocking looking, PwC predicts: "With the abolition will intensify competition in the future."

even now, 40 percent of respondents are convinced that the seat of an online shop will be available in two years, at least for the consumer is meaningless. The several points are, in the opinion of lawyer Sandra May, however, be in the way. May works for the dealers Association, a European-wide cooperative network of consultants and lobbyists for the area of E-Commerce.

As the obstacles it identifies the economic damages incurred by traders due to returns, as well as the legal uncertainty. At the very top of your list, but: "In the EU there are 28 different VAT rates apply." Thus, the trade within the Union can continue to grow, must be in harmony. In addition, parts of the logistics such as transport documents should be digitized.

The VAT in the EU

at Least in the case of the VAT to be Changes. By 2021, the European Commission intends to revise the System. Traders should must enter sales to other EU member States only on an Online platform that directs each of the financial authority of the country. In addition, smaller companies and Start-up are to be relieved-ups.

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Lisa Duke

Who sold it as the Spanish cobbler per year, only a few articles on the own country's boundaries, it is allowed to treat these exports in the future, in the case of VAT as an order from the domestic market. This applies up to a threshold of 10,000 euros per year. EU-wide 430,000 businesses are set to benefit from the Changes. These and other reforms of the tax system and also prevent fraud. Up to 50 billion euros is lost to the member States each year in cross-border sales.
Also, the regulation to the Geoblocking to know some of the gaps. From its new exports enthusiastic, you could set up the Spanish Schuster about a second German-language online shop. The prices he could choose from a range of high. He would have to give the customers the Chance to switch back to the original page. A note on different prices, it is does not need. The new shopping freedom has its limits.

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