EU: Price comparison of parcel delivery services

Whenever a parcel has to be sent cross-border, the price for its delivery would increase significantly - regardless of the actual distance. Many Europeans therefore avoid shopping in another country. The EU wants to change that and created new rules for parcel delivery services.

 

Price comparison

 

According to the new regulation, every operator has to report several facts to the national authority, including the following:

  • Name, address, contact details
  • Characteristics and tariffs of the national and international delivery services
  • Terms & Conditions and complaint handling procedures

This information will be published on a special website of the EU Commission. Consumers will be able to compare prices and conditions of all providers. Furthermore, this transparency will make it harder for rogue firms to maintain overpriced tariffs.

 

Small operators with less than 50 employees and only local services are excluded from the new rules.

 

Price regulation

 

The national authorities will compare the reported tariffs for cross-border delivery with those of national operators in both countries (departure and destination). The assessment of tariffs is concluded according to a set of criteria by the Commission. The authorities could request further information and proof from the operators. All results of the evaluation will be forwarded to the Commission who will publish a report on the website.

 

In Austria, the RTR (Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications) is the competent body for the evaluation and alternative dispute resolution regarding postal services, telecommunications and media.

 

At the right time

 

The new regulation comes at the right time: Not long ago, the EU agreed to end geoblocking (read more) to ensure cross-border online shopping without barriers. However, the respective regulation determines that - in some cases - consumers will have to take care of the delivery of their purchased goods themselves. Due to the improved price transparency, this task will become easier and cheaper.

 

The Council of Ministers have to endorse the new regulation, which will come into force in May.

 

Read more about the new rules for cross-border parcel delivery on the website of the EU Parliament. The draft text of the regulation is available at this link.