During the Global Ecommerce Summit 2014 in Barcelona, Ecommerce Europe releases an updated version of its position paper on e-Regulations. Ecommerce Europe puts forth the following recommendations:
- Continue ensuring trust in e-commerce: trust between consumers and merchants is key for the growth of the e-commerce sector. Ecommerce Europe believes extra effort should be spent to foster trust in the areas of privacy, transparency, fraud and security. Ecommerce Europe believes a balanced approach is necessary and advocates self-regulatory mechanisms as much as possible.
- Harmonize consumer rights through the Consumer Rights Directive and not optional law: Ecommerce Europe applauds efforts of European policy makers to harmonize consumer rights laws as much as possible, to create legal certainty. The Common European Sales Law, however, risks jeopardizing this effort and Ecommerce Europe therefore recommends that policymakers refrain from this law.
- Develop a common VAT system: the lack of a common European VAT system hampers the growth of the sector. There exists a 10 percentage point difference between the lowest and the highest VAT, and this disrupts the level playing field.
- Legal education and assistance: the one-stop-shop approach: rapid legislative developments make it hard for SMEs to catch up with developments. Therefore, Ecommerce Europe argues for a one-stop-shop on legislative questions for SMEs to get themselves informed.
- Clear guidance and an impact assessment for the Consumer Rights Directive: Ecommerce Europe applauds the work done by policymakers but has some concerns on interpretations in the transposition into national law. This could disturb the level playing field and therefore hamper the growth of the e-commerce industry.
- Integrate a dispute settlement mechanism in Alternative and Online Dispute Resolution (ADR/ODR):Ecommerce Europe advocates a fast rollout of a Common European Complaint and Dispute Settlement System to establish cheap and fast dispute settlement for online purchases.
- Fair competition – no artificial distinction between online and offline activities and clear rules on comparison sites and search engines: Ecommerce Europe believes access to results of comparison sites and search engines should be provided without infringing fair competition.
- Ensure adequate privacy and transparency for consumers through a risk-based approach to protection of personal data: privacy and protection of personal data are key drivers for trust in the e-commerce sector and cross-border industry. By the same token, online shopping produces valuable data for merchants to increase their revenues and stimulate economic growth. Ecommerce Europe asks for a risk-based approach to data protection, to ensure a (global) level playing field.