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New EU rules for cross-border parcel delivery

Members of the European Parliament have adopted a proposal to make the cross-border parcel delivery market in Europe more transparent and competitive. The European Union will implement new rules, which should lead to lower delivery costs for online consumers.

The new EU rules on cross-border parcel delivery were announced by the European Parliament yesterday. Currently, many online shoppers and retailers across the European Union are being confronted with high prices for deliveries to another EU country.

But it’s not only that parcels sent from one country to another can be five times more expensive than parcels sent domestically, it’s also that there can be significant differences when shipping a parcel from two different EU countries to the same destination. “Sending a 2 kilogram parcel from Belgium to Italy would cost 32.8 euros, while the same package sent from the Netherlands to Italy would cost 13 euros” the Parliament explains.

EU website for price comparison of parcel delivery

The European Commission says it will set up a website for price comparison of parcel delivery, something it said it wanted to do last year. On this platform, both consumers and online retailers will have the possibility to check the list of prices and look for the best deals. Aside from this, courier services will have to provide customers with clear information on the delivery prices and conditions, while national postal authorities will collect data from shipping companies to monitor the market and assess unreasonably high tariffs.

Required to give information to national authorities

According to the European Parliament, delivery service providers must also disclose turnover, the number of parcels delivered, the number and status of employees, information on subcontractors and complaint handling procedures to national authorities. All this has to be done to give a better overview of how the growing parcel delivery sector is developing and to identify possible market failures. Delivery service providers with less than 50 employees and operating only in one country are exempted.

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