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Barriers render EU eCommerce 'non-existent'

brussels bureau

Barriers render EU eCommerce 'non-existent'


A call to break down remaining barriers to online shopping in the EU, such as national laws on VAT, recycling and copyright. The fastest-growing terrain in retail — Internet — was estimated (in 2006) to be worth 106 billion euros, yet Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for Consumer Protection, said e-commerce is not living up to real potential.

Kuneva said: “For example in Belgium, 66 percent of the goods searched were not available online from domestic retailers but could be found on another Member State’s website. They could be found, but not necessarily purchased. As we stand today, we can not shop cross-border online within the EU. There is no European retail market online but instead 27 inefficient mini-markets.” Kuneva was delivering a report was based on researchers’ 11,000 test orders. Sixty percent of these had failed because transport was denied or because payment was impossible. Brussels urged countries and e-commerce interests to simplify rules and update the consumer rights code.

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