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If you live in an EU country, you can now visit online shops in countries other than the one you are situated in. Instead of being redirected to the domestic website, you can now visit, and buy from, webshops in different countries. Back in February 2018, the European Parliament approved the rules that had only been waiting for formal approval.

Geoblocking in the EU
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Surfing from, for example, Leipzig, Germany on a website in Spain will no longer mean being redirected to the German version of the website; nor will you be blocked from the website. You can shop on the Spanish website and make purchases there. This allows European consumers to take advantage of different and/or better deals. However, just make sure the online retailer based in the foreign country delivers to foreign consumers. Said online retailer is not obligated to deliver international according to the new geoblocking regulation.

Andrus Ansip, who is responsible for the Digital Single Market had the following to say:

“In 2015, 63% of e-commerce websites didn’t allow purchases from another EU country, so nearly ⅔ of consumers who wanted to doing online shopping in another country could not do this. We want a barrier-free Europe, which implies, among other things, the removal of barriers to online commerce.”

The Top Geoblocked Items

The Irish Examiner said that the items being geoblocked the most were electrical household appliances (86%) and reservations for leisure activities (40%).

The new EU regulations won’t apply to foreign-based streaming services or other online media with regional restrictions. However, the Geoblocking Regulation includes a clausule, which states the European Commission must evaluate whether the geoblocking ban must include such content within the next two years.

A Tip For Online Retailers

Online retailers must pay particular attention to their wording on their websites. “We’re not selling this product to you because of your location” is no longer a viable statement. This statement, according to the new Geoblocking regulation should read something like the following: “I’m sorry. We don’t deliver to your country.”