A Geo-blocking Regulation in the Context of E-commerce enters into force

Regulation (EU) 2018/302 on addressing unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market enters into force on 3.12.2018. The aim of the Regulation is for the consumers to be provided more opportunities by overcoming the problem that some customers are not able to buy goods and services from traders located in a different Member State because of their nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. The Regulation applies to all traders that offer their goods or services to consumers in the EU, regardless of whether they are established in the EU or in a non-EU country.

According to the Regulation:

  1. A trader shall not, through the use of technological measures or otherwise, block or limit a customer’s access to the trader’s online interface for reasons related to the customer’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment.
  2. A trader shall not, for reasons related to a customer’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment, redirect that customer to a version of the trader’s online interface that is different from the online interface to which the customer initially sought access, by virtue of its layout, use of language or other characteristics that make it specific to customers with a particular nationality, place of residence or place of establishment, unless the customer has explicitly consented to such redirection. In the event of redirection with the customer’s explicit consent, the version of the trader’s online interface to which the customer initially sought access shall remain easily accessible to that customer.
  3. A trader shall not apply different general conditions of access to goods or services, for reasons related to a customer’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment, where the customer seeks to:
  • buy goods from a trader and either those goods are delivered to a location in a Member State to which the trader offers delivery in the general conditions of access or those goods are collected at a location agreed upon between the trader and the customer in a Member State in which the trader offers such an option in the general conditions of access;
  • receive electronically supplied services from the trader, other than services the main feature of which is the provision of access to and use of copyright protected works or other protected subject matter, including the selling of copyright protected works or protected subject matter in an intangible form;
  • receive services from a trader, other than electronically supplied services, in a physical location within the territory of a Member State where the trader operates.