We have to ensure that opportunities of cross-border parcel delivery are not just for large companies, but also for small retailers, Telička says
Although billions of parcels are delivered each year across the EU, only a small percentage of them is sent across the borders of the Member States. The reasons are not only high prices but also lack of clarity. This should be addressed by the Regulation on Cross-border Parcel Delivery Services debated by MEPs during their March plenary session. Vice-President of the European Parliament and one of the shadow rapporteurs, Pavel Telička, also spoke.
Parcel delivery is a competitive, innovative and fast growing sector. Around four billion parcels annually are ordered online and delivered across the EU. However, in 2014 more than three quarters of them were delivered within the Member State of the seller. But cross-border e-commerce can benefit both citizens and retailers, allowing them to have access to a wider range of goods and services across the whole EU, and due to higher price competition, they also pay lower prices.
“The e-commerce of the 21th century is a beautiful combination of the free movement of goods and the freedom to provide services. This creates enormous opportunities, and it is important that it does so throughout the European Union. We have to make sure that these opportunities are not just for large companies, but also for small retailers and small craft shops that can then rely on reliable and affordable services” Telička explained. He stressed the fact that high prices hinder consumers and small businesses to sell more goods to other Member States or to buy more from them.
The European Union wants to ensure a better environment, notably by enhancing overall market surveillance and improving transparency by making publication of single-piece tariffs mandatory. “I’m glad that the proposal has been taken on board, because that will in fact enable us to compare the actual tariffs at our disposal. Every single operator will have to make his or her tariffs public, which then, if needed, can be independently assessed, by national regulators,” Telička said.
“We have taken an important step in this direction, even though - if it were up to me - we would have gone even further,” Telička added, “The proposal will not immediately reduce the cost of cross-border delivery services. But we have made significant progress towards greater transparency, more competition and more clarity for consumers in the future.”
The European Commision has tabled a proposal for a Regulation on Cross-border Parcel Delivery Services under the new Digital Single Market Strategy. It brings measures that should improve access for consumers and businesses to goods and services online across Europe. The aim is to eliminate unjustified geographical discrimination and other form of restriction based on places of residence or nationality.