Would you like to make a purchase from a webshop in another EU country, but are you prevented from doing so?
You discovered that a product is cheaper on a foreign website, but you are redirected to the Belgian site if you try to place an order.
Thanks to the European legislation concerning ‘geo-blocking’ a webshop can no longer redirect you to the national website. This means that you can now access any European website or mobile application, irrespective of your nationality or place of residence, giving you the choice from a much wider range of products and making it easier to compare prices.
Online goods purchases and delivery in another EU country
Imagine: you would like to buy a sofa from a Spanish webshop. The online seller cannot refuse your order on the basis of your nationality, location or place of residence. However, they are not obliged to deliver anywhere in the European Union.
Are you buying a product from a foreign website and is the seller refusing to deliver in Belgium? If so, you can organise delivery yourself or collect the product from an agreed collection point.
Other examples: refrigerators, televisions, cars, etc. In a nutshell: any consumer goods.
You should not be discriminated against when purchasing electronic services either. For example, you can buy a blog domain name via a foreign website.
Other examples include: cloud services, storage services, webhosting, the installation of firewalls, etc.
Services that provide access to content protected by copyright (e.g. online music, e-books, software, online games, etc.), audiovisual, health and social services are not covered by these European rules and can consequently not be bought elsewhere.
Do you have a subscription to online services? If so, you can still use them abroad. Find out more about the transferability of your online subscriptions.
You can purchase services that are marketed in a specific country via their foreign website. For example, you can buy tickets on a German website for an amusement park in Germany, without automatically being redirected to their Belgian website. Or you can rent a car via the car hire company’s .de-website.
Other examples include: hotel reservations, tickets for sports, music and other cultural events, etc.
Online traders are free to decide which payment options they offer their customers and which currencies they accept. If you use one of these payment methods the webshop must accept your payment, even if your card is issued by a financial institution in another EU country or the bank transfer is made from another EU member state.
Do remember to check that your online payment is secure!
Having problems with non compliance?
Does an online trader ignore the European regulations? Are you being discriminated against because of your nationality, location or place of residence? If so, contact the European Consumer Centre for information and support with your dispute with the trader. ECC Belgium is the official point of contact and, where necessary, will alert the authorities to ensure that further measures are imposed.