EuroCommerce has welcomed the decision of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumers Committee (IMCO) to endorse an own-initiative report by Kosma Złotowski MEP on tackling non-tariff barriers in the single market.
EuroCommerce Director General Christel Delberghe said, “Our ecosystem relies on the single market to provide our customers what they need at an affordable price.
“This own-initiative report contains some excellent proposals which we support, including an annual report on non-tariff barriers. We strongly encourage the plenary to fully endorse the report when voting in December.”
Delberghe also highlighted that the report “helpfully underlines that more needs to be done to enforce single market rules and roll back a trend which was apparent during the COVID pandemic of introducing new national barriers.”
Free Movement Of Goods
EuroCommerce noted that many governments, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, regularly introduce protectionist and discriminatory laws, violating the freedom of establishment and the free movement of goods.
It added that the Commission has focused on better enforcement of single market rules.
EuroCommerce looks forward to seeing the enforcement task force acting decisively to deal with national barriers and the failure of member states to notify new measures under the Transparency and Services Directives.
The Commission’s mapping of barriers has shown that they are increasing in retail and wholesale.
Therefore, EuroCommerce also called upon the Commission to carefully examine whether national authorisation procedures are proportionate and non-discriminatory.
Territorial Supply Constraints
Last year, a report from the Commission underlined the effect of persistent territorial supply constraints (TSCs) imposed by the largest brand manufacturers of grocery products, which prevent retailers and wholesalers from sourcing on a European basis or choosing where to buy.
According to the study, these restrictions would cost European consumers at least €14 billion a year.
The restrictions take various forms, such as refusing to supply except through their national distributor or threatening to stop supplying a particular distributor, limiting the quantities available for sale, inexplicable differences in product ranges and prices between Member States, or limiting language options for product packaging.
Recently EuroCommerce and SMEunited made a joint 'call for action' to address the challenges facing SMEs and the businesses they serve.