Cross border parcel delivery to get easier in EU

The EU has announced how it plans to make cross border parcel delivery services cheaper and more transparent.

The first step is to set up a website that displays the cross border delivery rates that are offered by delivery firms. This should make comparison and therefore competition easier.

The EU Council agreed on the approach for a draft set of regulations. The Council stated, “This dedicated website will make it easier for consumers and companies to compare rates and choose the best ones. Small delivery companies will be excluded from the obligation to provide their rates as that would create an excessive administrative burden for both the companies and the national administrations collecting the information.”

The EU Council believes that transparency should encourage lower pricing. This should bolster cross border online purchases within the political and economic bloc. At present, while 44% of customers buy online in their own country, only 15% buy from another member state. It is believed that high costs of cross border parcel delivery is one of the barriers to trade in this incidence. With cheaper and more transparent pricing, it is believed that more retailers may turn to selling goods online as well.

“We hope these new rules will lower delivery prices for citizens, especially those living in rural areas, and also for small businesses, which have limited negotiating power to strike good delivery deals,” said the Maltese presidency.

The draft rules also give regulators powers to monitor developments in the cross border parcel delivery market better. Delivery firms will have to provide their national regulator with various sets of data, thereby enabling the regulators to assess prices and identify market failures. Regulators in several countries currently do not have access to such data, which hampers the monitoring of competition in the parcel markets.

How these regulations will apply to the Brexiting UK is unclear. Time will tell.  
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