On 1 March 2017, MEP Lucy Anderson from the Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee of the European Parliament and MEP Bilijana Borzan from the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee of the European Parliament hosted an event on Cross-Border Parcel Delivery Services Regulation. Members of the European Commission’s DG GROW attended, as well as various stakeholders and representatives of the postal and online commerce sector. The event started with an exchange of views on the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services.
Transparency on tariffs is needed
Raphael Goulet, Head of Unit, Public Interest Services at DG GROW, identified the aim of the proposal as enhancing competition and affordability in the cross-border parcel delivery market. He stressed that the proposal is innovative as it is focused on the need for more and better information on tariffs, which are currently lacking, on better market services, and on an easier access to networks. He briefly outlined the most important articles of the proposal, in particular the articles related to the provisions for national authorities, the list of articles and rates, and the assessment of the portability. He affirmed the proposal is a necessary step to complement industry measures and is the result of extensive preparation, a large consultation and a 300-page impact assessment.
Some panelists attending the event expressed their concerns about the proposal, notably the administrative burden it would place on operators. Markus Ferber (EPP, Germany), shadow rapporteur for the EPP group, remarked the lack of efforts in making the cross-border parcel delivery services cheaper for consumers and underlined that the proposal does not do enough to improve the quality of the services provided. Arnold Pindar, President of ANEC, an advocate for European standardization, reported on the issues faced by consumers when they shop online: generally, a lack of transparency around prices, poor communication and lack of flexibility in the delivery systems are the main issues encountered. Meanwhile, George Bach (EPP, Luxembourg) expressed his dissatisfaction with the proposal particularly with regards to the affordability of items and the transparency of prices.
The need for a fairer competition in the sector was also advocated by UPS Director of EU Public Affairs, Mark van der Horst, who also stressed the importance of the articles related to transparency and affordability in the proposal.
The European Parliament’s Transport Committee will discuss the draft report on the proposal at the beginning of May. For further information on Ecommerce Europe’s vision for the European parcel delivery sector, please read our Manifesto for a better parcel delivery market in Europe.