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Parliamentary questions
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14 March 2018
E-001577-18
Question for written answer E-001577-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Lambert van Nistelrooij (PPE)

 Subject:  Eliminating territorial supply constraints
 Answer in writing 

As long ago as 2010, in its Retail Market Monitoring Report, the Commission identified territorial supply constraints and barriers to parallel imports as major drivers of the artificial fragmentation of the internal market, leading to substantial price differentials between EU Member States for identical consumer goods.

In 2015, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a report on food prices in the euro area. It too noted significant price differentials for identical products. The ECB suspects the existence of territorial supply constraints, i.e. artificial market fragmentation.

At the end of 2018, European legislation will enter into force which should put an end to unjustified geoblocking, thus preventing online traders from refusing to supply customers abroad on the basis of their country of origin. This legislation will apply to transactions involving supplies by Businesses to Consumers (B2C). The problem of territorial supply constraints in Business to Business (B2B) transactions could be addressed in the same way.

Twenty-five years ago, the Single Market was established. It is not high time for traders finally to decide for themselves whereabouts in the internal market they wish to buy from suppliers of identical products, so that market forces can operate more effectively and ultimately more attractive prices can be offered to consumers?

What practical measures will the Commission take to overcome geoblocking also for B2B transactions?

Original language of question: NL 
Last updated: 28 March 2018Legal notice