In the online shopping sector, high prices of cross-border parcel delivery are one of the main obstacles for consumers and retailers who would like to buy and sell online across the EU. According to a public consultation made by the European Commission, over two thirds of consumers have given up on making online purchases because of the high costs for cross-border delivery.

Therefore, in order to increase cross-border e-commerce, the proposed regulation aims at:

  • making markets work more effectively by making the regulatory oversight of the parcels markets more effective and consistent as well as to encourage competition;
  • increasing the transparency of tariffs in order to reduce unjustifiable tariff differences and to lower the tariffs paid by individuals and small businesses, especially in remote areas.

In particular, all parcel delivery service providers will have to submit to the national regulatory authority of the Member State in which they are established a set of information regarding their activities, including information about subcontractors. Moreover, all cross-border parcel delivery service providers will have to provide to the national regulatory authority public lists of tariffs for a predefined list of most used services. The European Commission will publish those lists on a dedicated website to enable consumers and businesses to compare the different domestic and cross-border tariffs between Member States. The national regulatory authorities will have to assess whether tariffs for cross-border parcel delivery services are unreasonably high. Delivery service providers with less than 50 employees and operating only in one Member State are exempt from the scope of the proposal.

The regulation now has to be adopted by the Council and will then enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.