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Commission launches consultation on integrated parcel delivery market to
boost e-commerce in the EU
For many e-commerce businesses, the weeks leading up to Christmas
represent one of the peak periods of the year for sales.
However, a number of them are missing out on potential business because
of concerns about delivery.
Studies show that only 9% of EU consumers buy goods online from other
countries, with both e-retailers and consumers expressing their concerns about
the shortcomings of current delivery systems used for goods ordered on line.
57% of e-retailers consider cross-border delivery to be an obstacle to
trading, while 47% of consumers worry about delivery in cross-border
An efficient delivery (and return) system is key to facilitating
further growth in e-commerce and therefore consumer choice and convenience.
There is an urgent need to address delivery concerns and improve
This is why the Commission has today adopted a Green Paper consultation
on the delivery of parcels, with special emphasis on cross-border issues and
"This Green Paper consultation will help identify the right measures to
improve parcel delivery in the single market," said Michel Barnier, European
Commissioner for Internal Market and Services.
"A flexible and well-performing EU-wide delivery system focusing on the
expectations of consumers and specific needs of e-commerce will contribute
directly to the enormous potential of e-commerce for boosting growth and
Key elements of the Green Paper:
Three priority areas have been identified to address the problems and
challenges faced by consumers and e-retailers in the EU:
- Improving convenience of delivery services for consumers and SMEs
across the EU;
- Ensuring more cost-effective delivery solutions and better prices for
consumers and SMEs;
- Promoting improved interoperability of delivery services between
operators (better partnerships and cooperation), and between operators and
e-retailers, notably SMEs.
With this Green Paper, the Commission will collect information on the
current state of the delivery market for products bought online, and identify
any potential hurdles for the creation of an EU-wide integrated parcel delivery
It will seek stakeholders' views on how best to serve the interests of
customers, businesses and end-consumers.
On the basis of the information collected, the Commission will identify
solutions to help develop a seamless parcel delivery process in the EU in order
to support the growth of e-commerce, and ensure that the benefits of e-commerce
are accessible to all citizens and SMEs across all regions in Europe via a
sustainable and well-functioning delivery system.
This consultation forms part of the Commission's on-going work on
E-commerce is widely acknowledged as a key contributor to economic
growth and increasing employment levels across the European Union.
The Commission's Communication on e-commerce and online services of
January this year (see IP/12/10) identifies delivery as one of the top five
priorities to boost e-commerce by 2015 and its importance has been reiterated by
the European Council and Parliament.
Delivery is critical as it has a substantial impact on facilitating
e-commerce and is a key element for building trust between sellers and buyers.
Stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation before 15