Geo Blocking

As of 3 December 2018, the EU Geo-blocking Regulation will apply. The regulation is relevant for all traders offering their goods or services to EU end-users (B2C and B2B) in the EU, regardless of whether the trader is established in the EU or in a third country (i.e. a non-EU Member State).

Traders established in third countries who are operating in the EU are in principle also subject to this Regulation. The new rules prohibit direct and indirect discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. This includes unjustified geo-blocking, automatic redirection of customers and the application of different conditions of access to and payment conditions for goods and services.

The changes which are to be ushered in by the geo-blocking regulation can be substantial. In any case, it requires your organisation to review and reconsider your sales model and contracts. Subsequently, your organisation might be required to adapt those in order to act in compliance with the regulation.

Geo-Blocking Regulation Implementation Tracker

The Geo-Blocking Regulation requires Member States to designate a body or bodies that are responsible for enforcing the regulation and to implement measures applicable to any infringements of the regulation (Article 7 of the GBR) as well as to appoint a body which is responsible for providing practical assistance to consumers (Article 8 of the GBR). This can thus differ per Member State and in principle requires implementation in the local legislation.

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Are you geo-blocking compliant?

Bird & Bird's guide to the new geo-blocking regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/302) provides you with a 6-step plan to help your organisation prepare for this new legislation. It summarises the key obligations that the new law will bring for organisations selling to EU-customers (end-users: both B2C and B2B) and highlights the most important actions to take in order to ensure compliance.

Download our 6-step guide to help you prepare for the geo-blocking regulation.

Download the 6-step guide here

Watch the Webinar "Online sales and geo-blocking: opening up the EU online market step by step".

In this webinar hosted by Lexology on April 17th 2019, Bird & Bird experts Roelien Van Neck, Thomas Oster and Ariane Le Strat consider the practical implications of the Geo-blocking Regulation for traders selling online within the European Union. In particular, the webinar covers the following:

  • Which transactions, goods and services are caught by the regulation?  
  • What is the impact of this regulation on price differentiation strategies and exclusivity arrangements?
  • What is the impact of this regulation on delivery obligations and logistics?
  • What practical steps must be taken to ensure compliance?
  • How does this regulation interact with the existing EU competition rules?
  • How will the new geo-blocking rules apply in the United Kingdom after Brexit?

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Geo-Blocking Regulation Implementation Tracker

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