No more Geoblocking: online shopping without limits in the EU

It will be possible to make purchases online in all EU countries, without being more unduly blocked because you do not reside in the state of the seller or because you make the payment with a foreign bank card

From Monday 3 December, the online shopping experience of European citizens will be changed substantially.

In all EU countries, a new regulation that prohibits unjustified geoblocking becomes applicable. That is, it will be possible to make purchases online in all EU countries, without being more unduly blocked because you do not reside in the state of the seller or because you make the payment with a foreign bank card. Specifically, many will have happened to try to visit the French or British website of an online shopping portal or a producer and to be continually sent back to the Italian one. Or try to make an order and have to give up because there is no delivery where you live.

All these limitations on online purchases from one country to another are defined as “geoblocking”, the blocks often used to exploit one country’s greater purchasing power over the other. From tomorrow, these practices will be banned by EU regulation 302/2018 when they are not motivated by actual higher costs or logistical difficulties. In short, a German can buy a super discounted product on the French Amazon. An Italian must be able to access offers that were previously reserved for Danish customers.

So far, 63% of the portals visible in the Union provided for limitations that in one way or another dissuaded the user from buying in a country other than his own. The result: only 19% of European consumers shop online on the sites of another member country. Now, “we end this practice on December 3. We want a Europe without barriers, and this also means eliminating obstacles to online purchases”, on the false line of what has already been done putting an end to the extra costs of roaming in June 2017, explained the vice president of the EU Commission for the digital single market Andrus Ansip.

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