On the way to a single digital EU market, another regulation will soon come into force under the GDPR. The Geoblocking Regulation was adopted by the EU in February this year and will apply from 3 December 2018
Using geo-blocking, digital content is delivered regionally differently, and in some cases even completely blocked. You all know messages like "This content is not available in your country," for example, in music, movies and TV shows. But geo-blocking is also a common technique in e-commerce. So goods are not sold across borders or at different prices in all countries. These restrictions are based on data such as addresses, credit card information or even IP addresses.
What E-Commerce Companys have to look out for?
From 3 December 2018, traders must treat the EU as a market. Delivery areas must be clearly defined. The rules of the Geoblocking Regulation must be complied with.
This concerns above all the following points:
Terms & Conditions
Different terms and conditions based on the geodata are not allowed. For e-commerce retailers, this means that customers in non-supplied countries must be given the opportunity to pick up the goods in a supplied country. However, the dealer is still not obliged to supply all EU member states. The terms of payment may not be different based on the nationality or place of residence of the customer.
Geoblocking to deny access to websites and apps, or forwarding to local versions of the site, is prohibited from 3 December 2018. The user may decide for himself which regional website he would like to visit. This right may not be limited by IP address, nationality or residence.
E-commerce entrepreneurs in the EU should therefore deal promptly with these changes and prepare appropriate adjustments.
More Information about the new Geoblocking-regulation you can find here:
Leitfaden zur Geoblocking-Verordnung des Handelsverbands