European Commission tool helps online merchants sell cross-border


Selling online can be very complicated due to all the different rules and regulations entrepreneurs have to be aware of. Ecommerce Europe has long been asking European policy makers to provide a “one-stop-shop” for online merchants in which they can easily access information on legal rules and obligations – especially for selling cross-border. Last week, the European Commission has finally launched such a one-stop-shop.

Ten things to know when doing business online

Although still quite basic in its format, the tool aims to inform digital entrepreneurs, and especially SMEs, about regulatory obligations for companies for selling online. In ten steps the tool gives (aspiring) online merchants a check list and practical guidance on how to be compliant with European legislation. Answers to questions like “What should I do when setting up a web shop?” and “How can I comply with VAT obligations?” are answered in clear language with options for more information.

10 things to know when doing business online

Next steps

Ecommerce Europe is now gathering input from its members if the information provided is effective, and will inform the European Commission on this. Ecommerce Europe is content that its recommendation to set up a one-stop-shop has been picked up by the European Commission, and applauds DG Growth for building a comprehensive tool.

The one-stop-shop is part of Watify, a bigger project of the European Commission to stimulate digital entrepreneurship – a mission Ecommerce Europe fully supports.

Other Ecommerce Europe recommendations

To learn more about other recommendations Ecommerce Europe has made to the European legislators for helping online merchants, please see the Ecommerce Europe Priority Paper (2015).