The goal of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market is to give customers better access to goods and services throughout the EU. However, the majority of retailers treat customers differently, based on nationality or geographical location. Mystery-shopping showed that two out of three websites do not allow customers from another EU-country to purchase from their website. This is called GEO-Blocking.
As of December 3rd 2018, a new regulation prohibits traders from applying unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of geo-discrimination. A customer’s nationality, place of residence or establishment should no longer be relevant when selling to EU-customers.
In short: traders will have to treat customers from other Member States the same as local customers.
Any company that sells products or services online or to customers from other Member States will be impacted by this regulation. For example, blocking access to websites or automatically redirecting customers without explicit consent is prohibited. Companies must also apply the same conditions of access to and for payment of goods or services.
Compliance with the regulation requires reviewing your sales model and contracts. In order to prevent penalties and other repercussions your company should be “GEO-Blocking-Proof” by December 3rd 2018.
Bird & Bird is ready to assist you, without any geo-blocking or re-routing! Go to twobirds.com/geo-blocking and download our free 6-step checklist or contact us for more information.