The European Commission today presents a proposal which equalizes the guarantee period for consumers who shop online in all member states. If this proposal is accepted, it will be a major change for consumers and retailers in Europe and could really boost cross-border ecommerce.
Laws and regulations
As ecommerce become an increasingly mature business, more and more laws and regulations come in place. This is also because Europe desperately wants to have one, unified ecommerce market. The Directive on Consumer Right is one of these examples. As of 13 June 2014 it replaced certain directives and it’s focused more on protecting the online consumer than the European Union did before.
Next year, all retailers in the European Union need to prominently state that customers can exercise new dispute resolution rights, provide a link to the EU website explaining these rights, and state whether the store opts in or opts out of the EU scheme. Here’s what you should know about this alternative dispute resolution.
Ecommerce Europe, a pan-European association for online retailers, does not totally agree with the European Commission with regards to the Single Market Strategy it presented today. It welcomes the policy proposals the Commission has made, but the ecommerce association recommends not to create parallel legal frameworks. Ecommerce Europe wants the same rules for online and offline sales.
Ukraine is finally opening up to the online retail business. The parliament and the Central Bank have recently adopted measures to facilitate online transactions. As a direct result Ukrainians can now use the popular payment service PayPal.
The European Union tries hard to achieve the Digital Single Market. But despite all the efforts, there’s still a long way to go before there’s a borderless ecommerce industry in Europe. The national board of trade of Sweden has published a report where it maps out the legal barriers affecting ecommerce in the EU.
The European Commission has released its Digital Single Market Strategy to bring down barriers and unlock online opportunities across the continent. One way to achieve this, is by having more efficient and affordable parcel delivery. In order to improve the situation, the Commission wants feedback from consumers, companies and associations. It launched an online public consultation which will close on 29th July.
In a battle against falsified medicines, the European Union has introduced a common logo for legally operating online pharmacies and retailers. This already happened one year ago, but starting 1 July, implementation of the logo on an online pharmacy’s website is mandatory.
The European Commission has launched a tool that should help online retailers, especially small and medium enterprises, with selling online and going cross-border. The tool provides guidance on what the legal rules are and what steps need to be taken to be compliant with certain laws and regulations.
The European Commission has raided several companies which sell consumer electronics online on suspicion of illegal behavior. Also websites selling video games online were part of an investigation, because of possible geo-blocking of sales. The European Union is apparently working hard to help remove barriers to cross-border trade in the 28 European countries.
The British Retail Consortium urges the Government to make steps in consolidating cross-border consumer right and to push the EU to remove the barriers hindering online trade between European countries. Also a mini-Common European Sales Law should be implemented.
Starting 1 January 2015, there are new VAT regulations, aimed at businesses that sell electronic products and services to private individuals within the European Union. From the first day of 2015, the place of taxation will be where the customer lives, rather than where the supplier of the service is established. Here’s what you should know about these incoming changes.
Avalara, that helps businesses achieve compliance with tax requirements, and payment service provider GlobalCollect are partnering up. The strategic partnership should simplify cross-border ecommerce by offering ecommerce businesses localized payment solutions, while ensuring they remain fully compliant with transactional tax regulations.
The High Court in the United Kingdom has decided that Internet service products must take action to restrict access to websites that are selling physical counterfeits, such as clothing and jewelry, when a brand owner requests this. This is the result of Swiss luxury company Richemont going to court some months ago.
The Federal Council of Switzerland wanted to introduce a right of return for the local ecommerce industry, just like has happened in the majority of Europe, but the National Council was against it. Even if this meant Swiss consumers would be disadvantaged against EU citizens. But for purchases over the phone, customers still have some important rights.
An online store that claimed to ‘deliver anywhere’ in its TV ad, lost a battle started by a costumer living on the Scottish Shetland Islands who complained the ad is misleading because the company refused to deliver to the Scottish Island.