More views on the proposed EU Consumer Rights Directive

No primary category set

Following the news at the beginning of the month that the EU is considering new distance selling regulations harmonised across the whole of Europe many organisations are starting to voice concern at two of the proposals.

The clauses causing concern are giving consumers the right to require the trader to deliver the goods or supply the service in another Member State and forcing the trader to refund return postage from any Member State if the purchase price is over about £35 (€40).

The IMRG were one of the first to voice concerns, but they are now joined by the Business Software Alliance and The Forum of Private Business. All three organisations say that the EU proposals will cripple online SME retailers.

It’s disappointing as the proposals are intended to simplify cross border trading within the EU. As Keith Bird, CEO of eSellerPro points out “In reality, we are entering an increasingly global marketplace and online retailers simply cannot remain siloed. Whilst UK online retail is starting to plateau, the European market is on the rise and those UK-based small and mid-sized retailers that do not embrace selling into Europe will lose out to those that do.

Retailers need to expand and one of the best ways to do this is to sell across the EU. What’s needed is a unified set of regulations enabling retailers to sell across the EU if they choose to and are ready to, that ensures if they comply with domestic legislation that they’ll be in compliance with the regulations in every other EU country.

In reality what appears likely to happen is that the EU draft a set of unworkable regulations which many companies will attempt to adhere to whilst much of the EU carry on as normal and simply ignore the legislation as too onerous to comply with.

19 Responses

  1. The ONLY reason I try not to sell overseas is becuase of the poor postage services once the package leaves UK soil. If the bods in the EU want UK traders to sell overseas then the tools to DELIVER there had better be in place, otherwise that’s the point? No legistlation should force UK businesses to accept trading into effectively a black hole where orders just disappear without trace (even tracked orders!).

  2. I would love to sell all my products internationally, but there are occasions when that is not a viable option. For example when the USA introduced a package scanning procedure, following the Ink cartridge scare I stopped shipping to the USA because I was being bombarded with emails and claims concerning missing items. I made so many refunds I lost money.

    There is one European County that I don’t ship too because more post goes missing in their postal system than all the rest put together. Perhaps the European Bureaucrats should spend more time on ensuring that every EU country has a reliable postal delivery service before considering this Consumer Rights Directive

    This is such a ridiculous proposal that it could have come from eBay High Command

  3. Whatever the outcome of the EU legislative proposals, it is quite clear that more and more traders will begin to sell / sell more to EU destinations.

    It is a myth that UK sellers are victims of ‘poor postage services once the package leaves UK soil’.

    Sellers do need to concentrate on (the blindingly obvious) clear addressing, good packaging and (would you believe) ensuring a return address.

    Any losses can either be accounted for by insurance or by factoring into selling prices.

    There is no better time to get selling into the EU sorted than right now.

  4. It’s all a load of nonsense and won’t come into being…

    …However, let’s be honest. As far as most eBay sellers (as well as websites) are concerned (outlets included), they don’t compy with the current DSR’s so what hope is there that the new ones will be followed.

    My advice would be to ignore this and focus on selling.

  5. I have to say in theory I have no problem posting outside the UK.

    However one of my main products is walking length umbrellas – and these are too long to go by Royal Mails’ Airmail service. I do not sell enough to make it worth while using a courier company. Would I be able to charge more to post to outside the UK (as a non account holder this is gererally quoted as costing around £25 an umbrella!) or would these new guidlines mean I have to charge everyone the same shipping?

    If the customer changed their mind and returned the umbrella, and I had to pay the return shipping and refund the cost of outward shipping I would make a huge loss. If this happened more than 2 times a month I would soon have to seriously reconsider selling such an item.

  6. What makes me laught is all this crap about European rights, but if your rights come into conflict with the EU, then you have no rights. I wonder why the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have no agreement with the EU. Thats a point, registar your business in the Isle of Man so you can sell where you what.

  7. I sell worldwide, but it should be my decision when and where I sell. The EU don’t pay me, my taxes pay them yet I have no say where my taxes go. I don’t even won’t be in the EU.
    How will AV canter for me? Under AV can I be a non EU citizen? No, AV is a waste of space as well.

  8. We have gone from shipping all our products to anywhere in the world for the past 6 years to only shipping to Ireland France and Germany and a few others this spring and by summer we will only be shipping to UK only not even southern Ireland.

    We use Linnworks total order management(warehouse – Customer services – Purchasing and shipping) and the reports we took from that which show resends and reasons why – returns and reasons why – customers cancelling orders due to shipping costs to high and all the customer service logs showing all the complaints etc actualy showed us that we were losing more money than we were making, so we are now over a few months slowly removing countries one by one untill we are just left with the UK.

    I would advise anyone to look into all aspects of your overseas sales and do the maths and see if its worth it or not.

    We sell low value office supplies and stationery which are just sent by standard airmail – and even the more expensive products which were sent either airsure or international signed for have gone missing after its gone out of the UK, if we use a courier like DHL etc we get complaints that the costs are too high – even though we have sent them the link to showing the quote so they can see we are not making anything on the shipping.

    I would guess it all depends on what you sell – horses for courses

    Have a great Easter everyone and enjoy the time off and the fab sunshine

  9. I would like to see some EU regulation on the shippers first; seems strange that RM can take 60 days to handle a lost item claim, and charge £5.00 for an International signature , when you cant even get evidence of it. There are serious issues that need to be addressed.



Volo Commerce multichannel solution acquired by FOG Software


June saw strong online UK sales but could a sunny August spell trouble?


January 2018 saw strongest online delivery growth in five years


Ecommerce Worldwide Cross-Border Summit 2017, London: 24/5/17


Cross-Border Summit 2017, London: 24/5/17

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars