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European Parliament to vote on more transparent EU cross-border parcel rates

By Dan Wilson March 12, 2018 - 9:31 pm

On Tuesday the European Parliament will vote on a new regulation that it says will “make the cross-border parcel delivery market more transparent and competitive and reduce the barriers consumers and e-retailers encounter when purchasing products online in the EU.” It says that greater transparency on EU cross-border parcel rates will encourage greater trade between member states and help small businesses.

Online shoppers and retailers continue to be confronted with high prices for deliveries to another EU country. Rates for parcels sent from one EU country to another can be up to five times higher than domestic prices. In addition, there can be significant differences when shipping a parcel from two different EU countries to the same destination. For example sending a 2kg parcel from Belgium to Italy would cost €32.8 while the same package sent from the Netherlands to Italy would cost €13.

The lack of transparency in the sector might encourage postal operators to charge unreasonably high prices, which could also prevent small firms from trading in other EU countries. It could also stop consumers from making informed choices and from having access to a wider range of products, affecting especially those living in remote areas.
– European Parliament

You can find the proposed regulation here.

What is less clear is the extent to which this regulation will have a practical impact on shipping rates. Transparency is one thing but standardisation is not a realistic possibility in the required free market system of the EU. And, needless to say, the UK will be leaving the UK in the not too distant future so any such rules will likely not come into force until after Brexit.

The variety of EU cross-border parcel rates around the bloc is dizzying but offers good choice and, as usual, we urge sellers to shop around for the best deals.

  • 3 months ago

    no mention of subsidising postal imports from China – a great UN/EC achievement.

    it should be the case that we see all of these ‘barriers to trade’ so that as either a consumer or a trader we can take compensatory legal action ourselves.

    but that would be giving the game away – and the EC has done a fine job of conspiring with the postal racketeers to bilk us all for a good half century.

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