From 2018, All EU Online Shops to Be Available to Croatian Consumers

Total Croatia News

Good news for all those who like to buy over the Internet.

As early as next Christmas, Croatian customers will be able to buy goods from all online shops in the European Union. So far, Croatian consumers, as well as citizens from other smaller and newer EU member states, have often been discriminated against in online shopping, reports Večernji List on November 25, 2017.

The most common problem is that individual online stores refuse to sell products to Croatian consumers. The European Commission research has shown that as many as 63 percent of internet retailers do not sell outside of their own country, said Biljana Borzan, a Croatian Member of European Parliament.

The negotiations on the directive on geoblocking and other types of discrimination based on nationality and place of residence in the online market have finally been completed. One of the authors of the directive is MEP Borzan, as a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

“This removal of barriers will, for now, apply just to physical products, while e-books and streaming music services may be included in the legislation over the next two years,” she added.

One of Borzan’s proposals which have been adopted was a ban on the automatic redirection of buyers to national sites. “In some cases, buyers are automatically switched to a local site, with different products and prices. Also, sometimes we are even charged at higher prices than buyers from some other EU member states,” she continued.

More than 30 percent of Croatian citizens regularly buy online, and this number is on a steady rise. Cross-border online shopping in the European Union accounts for just 14 percent of the total online purchases. By removing this barrier, it is expected that the percentage will grow.

“The online market has a great potential which can be useful to Croatian businesses and consumers. The estimate is that increasing the online trade from the current five percent to 15 percent would mean a growth of GDP at the EU level by 1.7 percent,” explained Borzan.

Translated from Večernji List.


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