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EuroCommerce supports the Commission’s Digital Single Market priorities but calls for “home state” rules for traders

EuroCommerce supports the Commission’s Digital Single Market priorities but calls for “home state” rules for traders

March 2015

EuroCommerce supports the Commission’s Digital Single Market priorities but calls for "home state" rules for traders

Today, the European Commission unveiled the main pillars of its Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy. EuroCommerce welcomes this vision to create a truly Single Market fit for the digital age. While recognising how complex the challenges are, we encourage the Commission to put forward ambitious rules that will not only open the markets for consumers but also remove barriers for businesses. EuroCommerce has long campaigned for harmonised consumer protection rules, as well as simplified VAT arrangements, more ICT investments and promotion of digital skills. We are happy to see that the Commission will take actions in these areas.

 

EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren welcomed the Commission’s announcement: "This announcement is an important step forward. We hope that we can work together with the Commission, building on this strategy to address some important additional areas which need to be resolved. European traders need rules that allow them to trade cross-border on the basis of their home state law (home option), to all areas concerning cross-border trading, including labelling and product safety. This will bring more legal certainty and reduce costs, and will encourage new companies to offer goods and services online to consumers across the EU."

 

There are still too many barriers for businesses wanting to sell goods cross-border, and these need to be removed. Even in the digital age, selling goods online, requires that they are moved from one place to another. And this is where most barriers arise. These barriers are legal and commercial. They include differences in labelling, language, product safety requirements, VAT and payment systems, delivery costs and services, territorial supply contract and consumer protection rules.

 

EuroCommerce has always supported harmonisation of consumer rights. But we know that this is not simple. If we want e-commerce to take off cross-border, we need a workable compromise involving rules that ensure consumer trust but at the same time are practical and proportionate. Cross-border trade should offer choice to both traders and consumers Traders should therefore be free to choose how and when to trade across borders, based on their commercial decisions, while respecting single market rules.

 

"We have also called for equal treatment, as far as possible, for all channels of commerce, whether online or offline, big or small. SMEs play a critical role for the European economy and jobs, but large businesses also have a major role and we would strongly oppose different rules for different sizes of businesses," said Christian Verschueren.

 

See more on the EuroCommerce Priorities for the Single Market in the Digital Age here.

 

For further information, please contact:

Kayleigh Lewis

Junior Manager, Communications – Media

Tel: +32 2 894 64 83

Mobile: +32 4 8686 0716

lewis@eurocommerce.eu

 

Neil McMillan

Director Advocacy and Political Affairs

Tel: +32 2 737 05 99

mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu