More and more people are shopping online, but not many of them are shopping online cross-border. There are many reasons for that (geoblocking, different legal rights - you name it!). But one of the main problems are very expensive delivery charges for parcels. Sending a small parcel to another Member State often costs up to 5 times more than sending it within one country. To send a package from the Netherlands to Spain costs 13€, while sending it the other way around costs 32.74€.
This is a first and soft intervention in the parcel delivery market. Yet, it might be sufficient to achieve its goal: more transparency, more competition, lower prices. So consumers obviously benefit because it might/will/could become cheaper to send a package from A to B. For retailers it could become more attractive to do cross-border e-commerce because one of the main obstacles that keeps consumers from shopping online abroad is removed.
The proposal by the European Commission doesn't set maximum prices for cross-border shipping. Yet, the Commisison may do that in the future, if the proposed measures don't work. So far the soft approach contains three elements:
All of his is supposed to create peer pressure among parcel services and increase the competition for lower prices. The Commission will evaluate the progress made by these measures in 2019 and see if further intervention is necessary.
This file was jointly dealt with in the European Parliament's committees for Transport & Internal Market and - for the Council - among the ministers responsible for transport issues. While the Council came up with a common position, in the Parliament Lucy Anderson's (S&D, UK) draft report was first rejected. However, after MEPs spent some extra hours working on a common position trilogues were wrapped up quickly with a provisional deal in December 2017. Now the agreement needs to be confirmed by formal votes in Parliament and Council.
Geoblocking: Less consumer discrimination online
New consumer rules for online shopping
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