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Parliamentary questions
4 July 2006
WRITTEN QUESTION by Simon Busuttil (PPE‑DE) to the Commission

 Subject: Delivery charges

Maltese citizens purchasing goods through distance selling often face a situation where the charges for delivery (whether postage, courier or shipping) are higher than in other EU countries.

Typically, suppliers classify ‘delivery charges’ using territorial and/or geographical classifications of ‘EU countries’ and ‘other countries’.

Yet, countries such as Malta continue to be classified under ‘other countries’ for this purpose, and Maltese consumers thereby incur higher delivery charges.

This classification appears to be standard procedure among major courier, post and shipping companies and also features on the delivery charges announced on the websites of companies offering distance selling. Yet, it betrays an inherent difference in treatment between countries such as Malta and other equally or more remote regions in the Union, with the latter nevertheless paying the standard charges for ‘EU countries’.

Does the Commission consider this classification and the consequent charges imposed on Maltese consumers as in breach of the principle of non-discrimination?

Does not the Commission consider that companies undertaking this practice are effectively re-erecting national borders that have been removed by the internal market?

 OJ C 328, 30/12/2006
Last updated: 11 July 2006Legal notice