European Commission releases Green Paper to improve cross-border parcel delivery market

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The European Commission adopted the Green Paper on parcel deliveries on 28 November and also started a consultation on the issue. The European Commission wants to identify and remove obstacles to the creation of an integrated parcel delivery market, especially for online purchases.

The Green Paper reviews the situation in the parcel delivery sector, which is one of the five priorities of the Communication. This action is also one of the 12 priority measures of the Single Market Act II. It asks stakeholders for input on ways to overcome the practical problems identified.

The Green Paper reviews the regulatory obstacles – legislation on the postal sector, services, VAT, working conditions, consumers and competition law – that hinder the creation of an integrated market that meets the needs of the various parties concerned. The Green Paper states that consumers’ main demands are more affordable prices and better access to information on delivery options, including parcel tracking. Ecommerce Europe, together with its members, formed its first position regarding E-Logistics during the Global Ecommerce Summit in Barcelona last June. The participants agreed that the European market for the delivery of parcels has to be seen as a part of the European Single Market in which both policymakers and the industry should work towards a standard track-and-trace system. Furthermore, Ecommerce Europe underlined that differences in law-regimes should be unified by the EU in order to foster Europe’s e-commerce growth. The industry is looking for services that are better adapted to the market: more flexibility to take account of peak periods and more transparency regarding the logistics chain by removing financial hurdles. The Commission will present a roadmap in spring 2013 in which it will propose solutions to existing barriers.

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