EU calls an end to geoblocking for online shoppers

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As of today, 'unjustified geo-blocking' on websites across Europe is illegal

A new regulation, proposed by the European Commission, is coming into force today, with the goal of removing needless barriers for ecommerce in the Union. Citizens of the EU no longer need to worry if a website will block access or redirect them, just because they are visiting from a different EU country.

“In 2015, 63 per cent of the sites did not allow purchases from another EU country, so nearly two-thirds of consumers who wanted to doing online shopping in another country could not do this, we end this practice on December 3,” said Andrus Ansip, the vice-president of the digital single market.

“We want a barrier-free Europe, which implies, among other things, the removal of barriers to online commerce.”

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elzbieta Bienkowska said it was a logical step forward, following the abolition of roaming charges and the GDPR.

Every country will need to set up necessary structures to make sure this new legislation is being enforced. The Commission also says that each country needs to establish measures, in case some businesses do not comply.

In 2020, the Commission will assess the effectiveness of the legislation.

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