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Will the EU demand you translate your ecommerce website into Finnish?

By Dan Wilson June 10, 2015 - 11:12 pm

The European Commission will launch an inquiry into ecommerce to ensure that practices aren’t stifling cross-border trade and a single EU digital market, according to a report on the lawyer.com.

The inquiry will cover manufacturers and retailers, online content service providers and online platforms such as marketplaces and price comparison websites.

According to the report from Eversheds: “On 6 May the European Commission (“the Commission”) announced the launch of a competition law inquiry into the e-commerce sector, where it is believed that companies who engage in selling via the internet may be employing methods to restrict online trade with the aim, in particular, of territorial fragmentation and restriction of price competition.”

The aim seems to be to ensure that cross-border trade (CBT) within the EU isn’t being hampered and citizens in certain countries aren’t disadvantaged.

In the report, one comment leapt out regarding languages: “One issue the Commission will consider is cross-border availability of digital content, such as multiple language options on websites.”

This raises the question as to whether the EU might be considering rules requiring ecommerce websites to enable CBT with language considerations. We know how they think already: the so-called #vatmoss regs have been a real problem for sellers of digital goods within the EU.

The good news is that the sluggish pace of EU bureaucracy means that the report won’t be published until some point in 2017 and the implementation of any recommendations will take much longer. Tamebay will keep you posted.

  • Kieran
    2 years ago

    Perhaps the EU pen pushers should step in and sort out the postal services in EU countries as that has to be one of our biggest barriers.

    Sending to Italy is a joke and sending to Spain is pretty hit and miss too.

    The US have USPS serving all states, in the EU we have various national postal operators, some government run and some private, but the inconsistency of service is damaging to cross boarder trade in my opinion.

    I would not really want to see an EU postal service (EUPS) as it would probably push up prices, but i think they need to do something about countries with poor postal services before they worry about translating everying. It is all well and good having a website in mulitple languages but delivery of the goods is all the customer wants in the end.

    Citizens in some EU countries are dissadvantaged because their postal system is terrible, it is easier to count the number of sellers who do ship to Italy than it is count the ones that have Italy on the blocked list.

    I have seen many examples of products being far more expensive on Amazon Italy and this has to be partly due to the cost of reliable delivery, Amazon also charge much more for FBA in Italy than they do in the UK for example.

    • 2 years ago

      On the whole I totally agree. But over the years I have shipped the occasional Book to Italy and indeed Spain. So far every one has arrived safely. Am I just Lucky. Well if I am why have I not won the Lottery yet(although if the Gods of the Lottery are listening can I please win the Euro Lottery on Friday this week please).

      I have often heard about postal woes to Italy and Spain. My shipments are always books so the package is book shaped. I wonder if I have Books in my return address might also put off potentiall Italian and Spanish thieves.

      Obviously if I was shipping other items my packages would be a different shape. So I wonder if that could affect the Ungodly when they think about nicking my Books.

      Anyway if I get an order from Italy or Spain I will ship(with my fingers crossed-mind you I even cross my fingers for UK addresses until I know that they have arrived safely)

  • Richard
    2 years ago

    The sooner we pull out of Europe the happier I will be. Nothing but pointless meddling and bureaucracy.

    • 2 years ago

      Well the Tory Government is committed to the In-Out Referendum. We will soon(well a year or two) have the chance of Voting to get out. I am convinced that the EU has held us back over the years. But lets be fair to David Cameron, The Prime Minister. Lets see what changes to the various Treaties he can agree with the Fourth Reich.

      My guess is that he will come back with very little. But lets give him a chance. If he does come back with very little them I for one will be Voting to come out. But lets be fair lets wait until he comes back with his bit of paper as Chamberlain did(although the Airfield that Chamberlain landed at and waved his bit of paper from Hitler is no longer an Airfield-Its a Service Station on the M4)

  • 2 years ago

    Perhaps the EU might discover services such as Google Translate which works well enough for everyone else?

    • 2 years ago

      Google translate really?
      Surely you want them to buy from you and not just laugh?

      I agree with the sentiment though. Far more needs to be done to make it easier, cheaper and more reliable to ship across the EU. I doubt leaving the EU will help on this front and will more than likely hinder it as UK goods will no longer be duty free

    • 2 years ago

      Dean I meant ifi want to view a foreign language site I’m perfectly capable of using Google translate and guess the Finns et al are just as capable of they need translation

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