04 Dec Ban on geographical blocking of online shop customers comes into effect
From Monday 3 December, and under a European Regulation, online shops must allow all citizens of the European Union to purchase products on their websites under the same conditions that are offered to local citizens.
The new regulation prohibits the use of technological measures such as locating by means of an IP address to prevent access to its website (geographical blocking) or to redirect the user to the website of another country without their express consent.
That said, this Regulation will not oblige us to make deliveries to the buyer’s country. On the contrary, as a company, we will still be able to decide in which country (or countries) we are willing to make the delivery. That will oblige foreign customers to organize, by their own means, the delivery of the products purchased. Thus, if we only supply products in a specific country, we will not have to assume inherent obligations to international trade such as registering for VAT in the customer’s Member State or complying with the legal requirements demanded by each State for the sale of our product.
The rule does not prevent us either from offering different products or services on the online interface of each country. We may even apply different prices at different points of sale or make specific offers only in a certain territory. In such cases, however, we must allow the foreign customer access to our products under the same conditions offered to the locals. This includes means of payment, i.e. as a company you can decide which payment methods and instruments you accept and which you do not, but once the choice has been made, you must allow both domestic and foreign customers use the payment instruments chosen.