On 3rd of December 2018 the new regulation proposed by the European Commission in May 2016 to end unjustified geoblocking online will enter into force. Europeans will not have to worry about a website blocking or re-routing them just because they, or their credit card, come from a different country. Wherever they are in the EU, they will be able to access goods and services online.
As of 3 December, Europeans will be able to shop online without unjustified geo-blocking, wherever they are in the EU.
Geoblocking makes it hard for online shoppers to buy from a website based in another EU country. This is why, in 2016, the European Commission proposed new rules to end discrimination on the basis of nationality or place of residence, as part of the Digital Single Market strategy. The new rules – which will enter into force as of 3 December 2018 – will ensure that consumers no longer face unjustified barriers such as being re-routed back to a country-specific website, or having to pay with a debit or credit card from a certain country.
Consumers and businesses show an increasing interest in shopping and selling across the EU. Online sales of products are growing by 22% per year. However, some traders still make it difficult for customers from another EU Member State to buy online or to benefit from equally advantageous prices in comparison with local clients. Vice-President Ansip and Commissioners Bieńkowska, Jourová and Gabriel met today in Strasbourg with members of the European Parliament to take stock of the progress made in breaking down the barriers to e-commerce in the EU and discuss next opportunities and challenges.
The new rules against unjustified geoblocking entered into force on 22 March 2018 and will be a reality for citizens as of 3 December 2018 – they will be able to find the best deals online when buying goods and services across the EU without being discriminated based on nationality and residence.