EuroCommerce, the body that represents the retail sector across Europe, has said that retailers have voiced their disappointment over the general approach adopted by the Council on the proposal on contracts for the sale of goods and consumer guarantees.
The body reiterated its support for harmonising laws within the EU, as proposed by the European Commission, so that cross-border online shopping is not affected because of the confusion arising out of fragmented rules.
Director-general of EuroCommerce, Christian Verschueren, said that the Council has 'missed an important opportunity' by discarding the Commission's proposal.
"Instead of modernising consumer protection, the Council's approach maintains major national differences," Verschueren added.
"This will do nothing to reduce existing barriers to cross-border e-commerce, holding back the development of a properly-functioning digital market in Europe and denying consumers and businesses its massive potential benefits.”
The agreement raises many issues that are a potential threat to retailers as it adds to their expenses, and makes it even more difficult for them to compete with cheap, unsafe, and non-conforming products, sold directly from China to consumers.
These include a longer period of the reversal of the burden of proof on the retailer, obligation to provide a guarantee on the durability of goods, and provide security updates on smart goods sold by them.
“Europe is still way behind China and the US in what is already a global digital market. Holding back the digital single market in this way is an ‘own goal’ for Europe, and the wrong policy turn for building up our economic competitiveness,” Verschueren said.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.