With a population of over 447 million people and GDP of $19.4 Trillion, the European Union represents one of the largest single markets in the world. Entering this diverse market presents both huge opportunities and risks for international D2C Brands. One such risk area is EU legal compliance, of which there are many regulations for Brands to consider and comply with. One area of EU legislation that has attracted considerable interest in recent years is the EU regulation on Geoblocking.
What is Geoblocking and why is this a problem?
In the EU context geoblocking represents a collection of measures taken by any business to prevent citizens based in one EU country from buying products from another EU country. For example if a business based in Italy prevents an EU citizen living in Ireland from buying a laptop on their website then this would be considered as geo-blocking. Any such cases of Geo blocking have not been permitted since 3rd December 2018 under Regulation (EU) 2018/302.
For the European Union geoblocking is a major issue that undermines the integrity of the single market and prevents the free movement of goods between EU member states. The geoblocking regulations form the cornerstone of European Union efforts to build an open, fair and effective Digital Single Market.
Summary of EU Geo Blocking Restrictions
EU consumers buying goods from a seller in a different EU country:
Should be allowed to browse any website that they want. Customers can only be redirected with their explicit consent.
Should be allowed to buy goods on any EU website regardless of their nationality or place of residence.
Should be offered the same price and conditions as local consumers.
Should be allowed to pay by any payment method that is already offered on the website to local customers.
Exemptions to Geoblocking Restrictions
Transport, retail financial services and audiovisual services - including streaming and downloading films (eg. Spotify and Netflix) are not covered by the EU Geo Blocking restrictions.
Further Information and Support
Here at CommerceCentric we have helped many high profile international brands to navigate the complexity of selling to consumers across the European Union. Feel free to get in touch using the contact form below if you require any further information or support.