More harmonization to foster cross-border e-commerce
In line with Ecommerce Europe’s mission, the Commission wants to facilitate cross-border e-commerce, especially for small and medium companies (SMEs), which have fewer resources. Therefore, the European legislators propose harmonized consumer and contract rules. Ecommerce Europe welcomes this initiative as it believes that online merchants and consumers need legal certainty, and this can be achieved through harmonization of existing legal frameworks.
Improve parcel delivery
Ecommerce Europe is pleased that the Commission also expressed its intention to develop a more efficient and affordable parcel delivery market, as today only 15% of consumers shop online from another European country, according to a Commission’s factsheet. In addition, Ecommerce Europe suggests that the parcel delivery market has to be stimulated and innovated by harmonizing customs regimes and making their timing more predictable.
Simplification of VAT/Taxation rules
The European legislators believe that simplifying VAT arrangements is important to boost the cross-border activities of businesses, especially SMEs. In line with Ecommerce Europe, the Commission recognizes that the cost and complexity of having to deal with many foreign tax rules are a major problem for smaller online companies. The VAT-related costs due to different requirements are estimated at 80 billion euros. Ecommerce Europe suggests creating a level playing field through simplified VAT registration and fair taxation policy.
Today’s discussions set out the priority areas for action to focus work on when preparing the comprehensive Digital Single Market Strategy that will be unveiled on 6 May by Commission’s Vice-President Ansip. Ecommerce Europe stays close in contact with the European legislators to ensure that the interests of the sector will be taken into account during the process.
Ecommerce Europe’s Priorities
To learn more about the recommendations Ecommerce Europe has made to the European Commission for facilitating cross-border e-commerce, please see the Ecommerce Europe Priority Paper (2014).