EC to launch a parcel comparison website

The European Commission (EC) is to launch a website that compares parcel delivery prices. According to the EC this “should help to increase consumer confidence in cross-border shopping and shipping”.

The new website is to be launched by the EC after a vote in the European Parliament in favour of new e-commerce rules. 604 MEPs voted in favour, 80 against and there were 12 abstentions.

In a statement the EC said, “Parcel delivery service providers will be required to provide their tariffs for a predefined list of most used services. The Commission will publish the prices on a dedicated website to enable consumers and businesses to compare domestic and cross border tariffs between member states and between providers and opt for the best deal. By contributing to healthy competition, the new regulation should encourage the reduction of unreasonable differences between tariffs.

“According to a public consultation by the EU Commission, over two thirds of consumers have given up on making online purchases, because they feel that cross-border delivery costs are too high. The cross-border parcel prices are on average 3 to 5 times higher than their domestic equivalents for all products, according to a 2015 study .

“While densely populated urban areas and high volume businesses attract competition in the parcel delivery sector, SMEs and individuals in remote areas face little choice and high prices.

“The rules also empower national authorities to assess tariffs for cross-border parcel delivery services which are subject to universal service obligation but seem unreasonably high.”