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Ecommerce Europe

Summary: 24.11.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 14-11 to 20-11.

Today, Walter Trezek, the Co-Chair of the e-Logistics Working Group of Ecommerce Europe, is attending the International Ecommerce Conference in Antalya, Turkey on “Key Drivers of E-Commerce: Postal, Logistics and Payment Services”. Furthermore, this week, Ecommerce Europe will welcome the national associations for the Working Committee meetings on Trustmark, e-Regulations, e-Payments and e-Logistics. On 22 November, Ecommerce Europe will also host a Discussion Forum on the RTS on Strong Customer Authentication under the PSD2, which aims to bring together EU policymakers and the e-commerce industry to discuss the threats of the RTS on the European e-commerce sector and the Digital Single Market. On Thursday and on Friday, Ecommerce Europe will attend the Customs 2020 Expert Group on low consignments of DG TAXUD (European Commission). On Friday, Ecommerce Europe will attend the Data Working Group of EuroCommerce to discuss the guidelines of the Article 29 Working Party and the latest developments on the ePrivacy Regulation. The Brussels team will continue to perform lobbying and public affairs activities.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

  • European Commission and upcoming Bulgarian Presidency answers to Ecommerce Europe’s concerns on parcel delivery

Last week, Ecommerce Europe contacted the European Commission, the members of the Council and the European Parliament about the new Article 6a of the Parcel Delivery Regulation, as adopted by the EU Parliament (TRAN Committee) in October. In view of the trialogue meeting of today, we urged policymakers not to ignore the important negative consequences that this Article may have on EU online merchants, specifically SMEs. In our opinion, this Article will ultimately harm consumers by increasing complexity and create an important competitive disadvantage for many smaller sellers. The joint statement that was sent to the EU policymakers, which was also supported by two other trade associations, includes a compromise in exchange for the deletion of the new Article 6a. During the weekend, we received a positive reaction from Veronica Manfredi (Head of the Unit for Consumer and Marketing Law at the European Commission’s ‎DG JUST). The Commission took good note of our call and is now pursuing relevant actions through the appropriate institutional channels, to make sure the Commission has a clear position on this issue. The Attaché from the Bulgarian Permanent Representation (that will hold the rotating Council Presidency as of January 2018) is also well aware of our concern and took good note of it, and they hope that it will be considered in an appropriate manner.

  • Ecommerce Europe co-signs joint industry statement on the businesses’ priorities for the Digital Content Directive proposal

Ecommerce Europe and four other business associations sent a joint statement to European policymakers calling on them to take into account some key considerations ahead of the joint vote on the Digital Content Directive proposal, which will take place on 21 November at 9h00 in the IMCO and JURI Committees of the European Parliament. In order to achieve the proposal’s objectives and contribute to better regulation without hindering innovation, the signatories of the joint statement call on the European Parliament to endorse the original proposal’s full harmonisation approach; align contract rules for ‘digital content’ and ‘goods’, to the greatest extent possible; maintain consistency with the existing European data protection rules, and clarify data aspects; refrain from regulating lifespan and durability in contract law.

  • France pushing for more flexible rules for cookies in the ePrivacy Regulation

The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will present a progress report to Telecoms Ministers at the Council meeting of 4 December. Moreover, it also seems that the Estonian Presidency will hold one more meeting (at TELE Working Party level) on 11 December to discuss solely one part of the text (Art. 6,7,8 and 10). EU delegations are expected to send written feedback to the Presidency before 1 December. A General Approach is expected to be reached by the end of the Bulgarian Presidency in July 2018. Rumors indicates that France would prefer to have the Regulation amended in order to make the rules on cookies more flexible.

  • European Commission survey on e-IDs and SMEs

The European Commission has published a short survey on eIDAS and SMEs to explore the needs and barriers for the use of digital solutions. The key outcome of the study will serve as an eIDAS pilot programme for SMEs based on a communication toolbox on the potential uses and benefits of eID and Trust Services for SMEs. SMEs will then be able to use these tools and communication materials to learn more about using eID and Trust Services.

  • EU negotiators meet tonight for a new trialogue on Geo-blocking

Member States agreed on a negotiating mandate for the next trialogue meeting on the Geo-blocking Regulation, which will take place tonight at 20h00. Member States are still apparently reluctant to modify the scope of the draft regulation to include also copyrighted content. Rumors indicates that the Estonian Presidency has removed software and video games from the scope. Ecommerce Europe will inform its members about the outcome of the negotiations in due time.

Summary: 17.11.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 07-11 to 13-11.

 

Tomorrow, Ecommerce Europe's Public Affairs Advisor on ePayments Pascal Koenig will attend the ePayments Working Committee of the German association Händlerbund in Munich. On Wednesday, Ecommerce Europe's Director of Public Affairs Luca Cassetti will attend the BeCommerce Cross-Border Summit #4, which will take place in Antwerp. This Summit is hosted by the Belgian national association, BeCommerce. Furthermore, this week, the Brussels team is busy with the finalization of the next Working Committee meetings which will take place on 22 and 23 November in Brussels. On 22 November, Ecommerce Europe will also host a Discussion Forum on the RTS on Strong Customer Authentication under the PSD2, which aims to bring together EU policymakers and the e-commerce industry to discuss the threats of the RTS on the European e-commerce sector and the Digital Single Market. The Brussels team will continue to perform lobbying and public affairs activities.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

  • State of play of the discussions on ePrivacy in the Council of the EU

On Thursday 26 October, the Plenary of the European Parliament has confirmed the mandate to start trialogue negotiations on the ePrivacy Regulation, as soon as the Council will reach a general approach on the proposal (you can find the last version of the text adopted by the LIBE Committee here). According to our last intel, it seems that the Estonian Presidency of the Council will present a progress report to Telecoms Ministers at the Council meeting of 4 December (agenda not available yet). Moreover, it also seems that the Estonian Presidency will hold one more meeting (at TELE Working Party level) on 11 December to discuss solely one part of the text (Art. 6,7,8 and 10). EU delegations are expected to send written feedback before 1 December. According to some rumors, there may be a possibility that the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency will postpone the discussions on ePrivacy for three months to focus on the discussion on the Proposal on Free flow of non-personal data.       

  • EU negotiations on the Geo-blocking Regulation proceed slowly, no agreement among Member States yet

EU Member States delegations are still discussing the draft Geo-blocking Regulation, in order to try to find a compromise ahead of the next Coreper meeting expected on 16 November. The EU Parliament’s Rapporteur on the file, MEP Róża Thun, is urging Member States to speed up the negotiations and follow the lead of the Parliament in extending the scope of the proposal to some copyrighted content. Most Member States are, however, still reluctant to modify the scope. The Commission and the Parliament are hoping that Germany will lean in favor of extending the scope to force a compromise. After the Coreper meeting of 16 November, EU negotiators have planned a trialogue meeting on 20 November. Click here to know more about the position of MEP Róża Thun

Estonian Presidency to present a new compromise on the VAT Reform for e-commerce during next ECOFIN Council meeting
On 7 November, the ECOFIN Council was not able to reach an agreement on the VAT E-commerce Package. Germany could not agree at this stage on the proposal because of two issues (the extension of the Mini One Stop Shop and the removal of the VAT exemption for the import of small consignments). This delay could represent an opportunity to clarify the issue of liability for platforms, as underlined by Luxembourg. The Estonian Presidency of the Council will try to get the General Approach adopted during the next ECOFIN meeting on 5 December, meaning before the end of its Presidency.          

  • Ecommerce Europe circulates a Statement on Parcel Delivery ahead of trialogue meeting

On 12 October, the EP TRAN Committee adopted its Report on the Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services. In reaction to the inclusion of a new Article 6, introducing new burdensome obligations for traders, Ecommerce Europe sent today a statement to the EU legislators warning them about the potential detrimental effect that this Article 6 would have if included in the final text of the Regulation. Ecommerce Europe is now working on a joint statement with our EU associations to increase even more visibility. The trialogue meetings are likely to start on 20 November, and Ecommerce Europe will therefore continue to lobby Member States and Parliament to ensure that the new Article 6 will not be included in the final version of the Regulation.                

  • EU Parliament will vote on the Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation (CPC) on 14 November

During the European Parliament’s Plenary session in Strasbourg on 14 November, the Members of the European Parliament will debate and vote on the on the Proposal for a Regulation on a cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (CPC Regulation). A provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations was reached in July 2017 (available here). Compared to the Parliament’s report, the provisional agreement does not include provisions that would have caused a negative impact on online merchants, which Ecommerce Europe never supported and pushed back.

  • Vote of the IMCO Committee on the Tangible Goods Proposal expected on 23 January 2018

On 9 November, Shadow Rapporteurs of the IMCO Committee of the European Parliament held a meeting on the Proposal for a Directive on Tangible Goods. According to the information gathered also from other parties in the informal coalition of which we are a member, the vote in the IMCO Committee of the EU Parliament is expected to take place on 23 January. The date will mainly depend on the vote in the JURI Committee, because the Rapporteur for Opinion MEP Hautala is not sure that the JURI Committee will manage to organise an extraordinary session before January. If that is not possible, then the IMCO vote will take place in February at the earliest. MEP Hautala also wants to organise another hearing around mid-December or early January, with the participation of stakeholders from the business and consumers side. The Shadows’ meeting covered the issues of the harmonisation level, of legal guarantees and reversal of the burden of the proof, of remedies and finally on lifespan.  

  • An updated version of the Digital Content Proposal was leaked

We obtained last week a leaked version (dated 17 October) of the Compromise Amendments to the Proposal for a Directive on the supply of digital content. After a preliminary analysis, it seems that the text has been improved compared to the original proposal in several ways. The joint vote in IMCO/JURI will likely take place on 21 November. In the meantime, the EP IMCO Committee published an ex-ante Impact assessment of substantial amendments on the introduction of a lifespan guarantee in the proposed online sales and digital content directive.

Summary: 09.11.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 30-10 to 06-11.
This week, Ecommerce Europe's Director of Public Affairs Luca Cassetti will attend the Logisitics Committee in Paris. This Committee is hosted by the French national association, FEVAD. Furthermore, this week, the Brussels team is busy with the preparation of the next Working Committee meetings which will take place on 22 and 23 November in Brussels. On 22 November, Ecommerce Europe will also host a Discussion Forum on the RTS on Strong Customer Authentication under the PSD2, which aims to bring together EU policymakers and the e-commerce industry to discuss the threats of the RTS on the European e-commerce sector and the Digital Single Market. The Brussels team will continue to perform lobbying and public affairs activities.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

  • European Commission responds to Ecommerce Europe’s concerns on the RTS on Strong Customer Authentication

On 25 September, Ecommerce Europe, together with 25 e-commerce and digital businesses and associations, sent a cross-industry letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker highlighting the industry’s continued concerns regarding the proposed Regulatory Technical Standards on Strong Customer Authentication. Today, Ecommerce Europe has received a formal response to the letter from European Commission Vice-President for Financial Stability and Financial Services Valdis Dombrovskis. While Mr. Dombrovskis does not hint at any significant changes to the RTS, as proposed by Ecommerce Europe, he provides clarifications on a number of concerns raised in the letter. The European Commission is expected to publish and submit its final draft RTS to the European Parliament and Council for scrutiny by 24 November.                

  • EU Commission published Inception Impact Assessment on Platforms to Business (P2B) relations

The European Commission’s DG CONNECT recently published its Inception Impact Assessment (IIA) concerning a possible initiative to address unfair platform-to-business (P2B) trading practices by online platforms, in order to safeguarding a fair and innovation-friendly business environment. The Inception Impact Assessment is available here. Preliminary results of the Commission's fact-finding indicate that some online platforms engage in harmful trading practices to the detriment of their business users. The main issues identified so far are: removal (‘delisting’) of products or services; lack of transparency; cases of platforms favoring own products or services/discrimination; or lack of effective redress. The Commission stressed that, in light of the increasing dependency of businesses users on online platforms, these unresolved issues can have negative effects on a large number of EU business users. The Commission is evaluating what option would be the most suitable to deal with the issue. The Commission is expected to publish its initiative on 20 December 2017. After a preliminary assessment, we could consider that Option 1 (EU soft law) may be a more balanced approach. However, this matter will require a detailed discussion at the next e-Regulations Working Committee of 23 November. In the meantime, you are all invited to send preliminary comments to the Commission’s IIA before 22 November via this website.

  • EU Commission launched new public consultation on the revision of the Injunctions Directive

The evidence gathered during the 2017 Fitness Check of EU consumer and marketing law indicated that while the current EU consumer law acquis is still largely fit for purpose, infringements of consumer rights remain at relatively high levels and there is a need for stepping up enforcement and redress. To address these concerns, the Commission is considering the adoption of a legislative package covering two strands of follow-up actions: the targeted revision of EU consumer law Directives which concerns the substantive rules of the EU consumer law acquis (Inception Impact Assessment) and the revision of the Injunctions Directive, which encompasses procedural rules for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (Inception Impact Assessment). A new consultation (available here) recently published by the European Commission seeks stakeholders' views on the possible legislative changes related to point B, namely the legislative proposal for the revision of the Injunctions Directive 2009/22/EC (or ID). The deadline given by the Commission is very short: answers to the questionnaire can be sent only until 16 November. We invite you to respond to the questionnaire and share it within your own network. The Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Injunctions Directive is attached and available here.

  • Reports on GDPR workshop and expert group attended by Ecommerce Europe now available

Léon Mölenberg attended two important meetings on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). On 18 October, he participated in the Fablab III Workshop on GDPR organized by the Article 29 Working party on Transparency and, on 19 October, he attended the first meeting of the Multistakeholder Expert Group supporting the application of GDPR organized by the European Commission (DG Justice and Consumers, Unit C3: Data Protection). For the detailed report, please contact Luca Cassetti at lucacassetti@ecommerce-europe.eu  

  • European Parliament’s ECON Committee approves Report on Retail Financial Services Action Plan

At their meeting on 31 October, the European Parliament’s ECON Committee approved Rapporteur Olle Ludvigsson’s Report on the European Commission’s Action Plan on Retail Financial Services. With regard to the payments and transaction process in e-commerce, the most relevant points of the report are on FinTech for Retail Financial Services (Action 10), Digital Identity Checks (Action 11) and Online selling of financial services (Action 12). While the Report is non-legislative, its contents may feed into future European Commission legislative proposals.

  • The Estonian presidency published its compromise and a new report on the VAT Reform

The Council has made available two new documents in view of the ECOFIN Council meeting of 7 November: the Presidency compromise text, as well as a report on the ongoing negotiations. From the report, it is clear that delegations insisted on extending the scope of the Commission's proposals by making electronic interfaces (such as platforms, marketplaces and portals) liable for collecting VAT in order to ensure effective and efficient collection of VAT in this field. As you may remember, a month ago Ecommerce Europe sent a statement to all EU delegations against such a liability regime. In the compromise text, it seems that the article 205a - proposed in a Council working paper of 29 August - has been removed from the text. However, Article 14a is still in the text, even though it seems that there are still political reservations regarding the inclusion of such a liability regime. The ECOFIN Council is likely to decide on a General Approach tomorrow, and according to our last information the vote will only depend on Germany’s decision to approve or reject the Presidency compromise. Today, Ecommerce Europe co-signed a joint letter addressed to Finance Ministers of all EU member states to urge them to allow​ ​more​ ​time​ ​to discuss​ the ​new​ ​provisions​. The letter was picked up by Politico and other EU media.

  • Ecommerce Europe participated in the first meeting of the Project Group “low value consignments” with DG Taxud is now available

Walter Trezek, Co-Chair of the e-Logistics Working Group of Ecommerce Europe, attended the first meeting of the Customs 2020 Project Group on Import and Export Customs Formalities related to low value consignments. The main points covered were the differential treatment applied to National Postal Operators, the “Postal Customs Data model” created by UPU and WCO and the request from Customs authorities for a unique identifier for each consignment containing goods or merchandise. Stakeholders also discussed the abolishment of the “de minimis” regulations through the VAT reform and the close integration into the platforms and portals initiating the e-commerce related sale, thanks to which it would be easier for authorities to check the accurate price of the goods or merchandise.

  • EU decision-maker will meet to discuss Geo-blocking on 13 November for a new trialogue

The next trialogue meeting on the Geo-blocking Regulation will take place on 13 November, as EU Member States have rejected the last compromise of the Estonian Presidency during the Coreper meeting of last week. We will keep monitoring the situation and inform you accordingly.   

  • The Commission published its amended Proposal for a Directive on the sales of goods

On 31 October, the Commission published an amended Proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods) and a staff working document on the Impacts of fully harmonized rules on contracts for the of goods. With this amended proposal, the Commission proposes to extend the scope of the proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods to cover also face-to-face sales. This is very good news, as Ecommerce Europe has advocated for an extended scope as of the beginning of the discussions on this legislative file. We will further analyze the amended proposal in due time and report back to you of any other relevant changes.

Summary: 02.11.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 23-10 to 30-10.

Today, Ecommerce Europe Policy Advisor on e-payments Pascal Koenig attended the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) Working Group on Payment Initiation Services (PIS). Furthermore, this week, the Brussels team is busy preparing the next Working Committee meetings which will take place on 22 and 23 November in Brussels. On 22 November, Ecommerce Europe will also host a Discussion Forum on the RTS on Strong Customer Authentication under the PSD2, which aims to bring together EU policymakers and the e-commerce industry to discuss the threats of the RTS on the European e-commerce sector and the Digital Single Market. The Brussels team will continue to perform lobbying and public affairs activities.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:    

  • European Commission provides long-awaited update on RTS   

At The Berlin Group’s NextGenPSD2 conference, which took place in Berlin on 25 October, Ralf Jacob, Head of Unit for Retail Financial Services at DG FISMA, discussed the timelines for the RTS and explained the approach regarding the communication interface. Regarding timelines, Mr. Jacob explained that while the text of the RTS is finalised internally, it is currently being translated. The RTS are expected to be published around 24 November. According to sources in the Parliament, MEPs have scheduled a third scrutiny session on the RTS in the ECON Committee for 22 November. In order to become official the RTS needs to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, which should happen in late February 2018. The RTS will go into effect 18 months later, in August 2019.

  • ePrivacy mandate confirmed by Plenary

On Thursday 26 October, the Plenary of the European Parliament has confirmed the mandate to start trialogue negotiations on the ePrivacy Regulation, as soon as the Council will reach a general approach on the proposal. 318 MEPs voted in favor, 280 voted against, with 20 abstentions. Several MEPs from the EPP and ECR Groups tried to encourage other MEPs to reject the mandate for trialogue negotiations. However,  a majority supporting rejection was not reached. You can find here the Twitter reaction of MEP Michal Boni, Shadow Rapporteur from the EPP, following the voting session. The final text is now available for download here.

  • European Commission published a consultation on the taxation of the digital economy

The European Commission has recently published a public consultation on the fair taxation of the digital economy (available here). The objective of the initiative is to define an approach to the taxation of the digital economy. The approach should meet the goals of fairer and more effective taxation, supporting public revenue and a level playing field across businesses. It should also facilitate an efficient taxation, supporting EU growth and competitiveness through the Digital Single Market. The consultation will be open until 3 January 2018. The contributions and the report will be published on DG TAXUD's webpage in the first quarter of 2018.

  • Workshop on Principles and guidance for eID inetroperability for online platforms

On 29 November, DG CONNECT will host a one-day Workshop to discuss and finalise the draft Principles and guidance on eID interoperability for online platforms which are jointly developed with stakeholders in the context of the Communication on Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market. The draft principles and guidance were recently published for open consultation with all interested stakeholders. They build on the ideas collected during a workshop we held on this topic on 24 April 2014, as well as on further feedback received from stakeholders who volunteered to support the drafting process. Following the end of the consultation period (10 November 2017) the Commission will consolidate the inputs, embracing the views and contributions received from stakeholders, and  will publish a new draft version. The aim of the workshop on 29 November 2017 will be to to discuss and finalise the Principles and guidance for eID interoperability for online platforms; to showcase and discuss how the principles and guidance can be applied; to exchange views on the way ahead.

Summary: 25.10.2017 r.

This week, and in particular on 24 October, Léon Mölenberg and Luca Cassetti will meet with the European Commission’s DG Competition to discuss about the Report adopted last week in the Parliament on the ePrivacy Regulation. Furthermore, the Brussels team will continue to perform lobbying and public affairs activities and will prepare for the next Working Committees.  

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

  • European Parliament’s LIBE Committee adopts Report on ePrivacy

On 12 October, the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament adopted (with a tight majority) the Draft Report of MEP Marju Lauristin on the ePrivacy Regulation. 31 MEPs voted in favor, 24 against, with 1 abstention. Ecommerce Europe reacted by press release (available here) to the adoption of the Report (final text available here). Despite all the lobbying activities from the industry in the past months, both individually and in coalition, Ecommerce Europe believes that the Report on ePrivacy not in line with business realities and may put EU businesses at risk and hamper innovation. In general, the political compromise reached on 12 October was far from the norm in the negotiations as a huge division developed Left-wing parties (S&D, Greens, GUE) and liberals (ALDE) voted in favor of the report, while right-wing parties (EPP, ECR) against. The right-wing parties have called for a vote at the full Parliament plenary session this week on whether to enter negotiations with the Council based on the LIBE report. If the Parliament votes against, then the LIBE report could be amended at a subsequent plenary session. Ecommerce Europe is coordinating lobbying actions with other EU business associations to call on MEPs to vote against the mandate to start the negotiations. If the Parliament’s plenary confirms the mandate, as soon as the Council also presents its position, the so-called trialogue negotiations between the EU institutions can begin. Nevertheless, Ecommerce Europe has learnt from the Bulgarian Permanent Representation, which will take over the Council Presidency in January 2018, that the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency might only be able to provider for a position (general approach) on the regulation by the end of their Presidency (around June/July 2018). This is mainly due to the complexity of the file.

  • Article 29 Working Party published new guidelines on GDPR

The EU data protection authorities, gathered as Article 29 Working Party, have recently published two new guidelines on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These guidelines are supposed to provide for further interpretation on personal data breach notification and on automated individual decision-making & profiling. Regarding the first document, the GDPR contains provisions on when a breach needs to be notified, and to whom, as well as what information should be provided as part of the notification. Information required for the notification can be provided in phases, but in any event controllers should act on any breach in a timely manner. The current Guidelines explain the mandatory breach notification and communication requirements of the GDPR and some of the steps controllers and processors can take to meet these new obligations. They also give examples of various types of breaches and who would need to be notified in different scenarios. The second document concerns profiling, an automated form of processing involving personal data, which aims at evaluating personal aspects about an individual. The GDPR introduces new provisions to address the risks arising from profiling and automated decision-making, notably, but not limited to, privacy. The purpose of these guidelines is to clarify those provisions. The Working Party is seeking comments on both guidelines and the deadline to provide feedback is 28 November 2017. The Data Regulation Subgroup of Ecommerce Europe will analyze the texts and prepare a draft contribution reflecting on the guidelines. The contribution will be further discussed and approved at the next e-Regulations Working Committee of 23 November. In case you wish to directly send your contribution, you can do so by sending an e-mail to JUST-ARTICLE29WP-SEC@ec.europa.eu and presidenceg29@cnil.fr. The guidelines on consent and on transparency and data transfers are expected to put forward in the coming months (potentially before the end of 2017, even though this has not been confirmed yet).

  • TRAN Committee publishes Report on cross-border parcel delivery services

The European Parliament’s TRAN Committee has recently published the final version of the Report of MEP Anderson on cross-border parcel delivery services (available here). As already mentioned, the Report adopted on 12 October includes a new article (Article 6a) - Provision of information to users by traders. This article adds burdensome requirements for traders. Ecommerce Europe was in contact with TRAN MEPs already before summer to lobby against the inclusion of this provision. Since trialogue negotiations are expected to start in November 2017, our focus will be the Council to make sure that this new article will not be included in the final text of the Regulation.

Summary: 19.10.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 10-10 to 16-10.

This week, the Brussels team will be attending important events related to the e-commerce industry. In particular, on Monday 16 October, some members of the Brussels team will attend the Amazon Academythat will focus on innovations in the delivering services. On Wednesday 18 October, other members of the Brussels team will attend a breakfast meeting hosted by MEP Dita Charanzova (Vice-Chair of the IMCO Committee) to discuss the future of payments and later the same day, the Global Blockchain Business Council, an event that will focus on the EU engagement with Blockchain technology and the implications of emerging technologies on the global economy. As always, the Brussels team is  busy preparing for upcoming meetings and lobbying actions.
See below, the policy highlights of this week:

  • European Parliament’s LIBE Committee to vote on ePrivacy Regulation report on 19 October

As announced last week, the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament decided to postpone the vote on the report of MEP Lauristin on the ePrivacy Regulation to 19 October at 10h15. The LIBE Committee is also supposed to vote on the decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations and of the composition of the negotiating team. In view of the vote, Ecommerce Europe co-signed a joint industry letter addressed to key MEPs in the European Parliament, in particular from the ECR and EPP Groups. The letter raises our concerns on the intention to give internet browsers a gatekeeper role in collecting users’ consent online. The signatories of the letter are asking MEPs to take the necessary time to assess these concerns, including through additional consultations and studies, before taking a decision on this important matter.

  • European Parliament’s TRAN Committee adopts report on Parcel Delivery Regulation

On 12 October, the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament adopted the draft report of MEP Anderson on the Parcel Delivery Regulation. As you may remember, the TRAN Committee rejected the Anderson report with the vote of 11 July. Compared to the previous compromise amendments seen by Ecommerce Europe before summer, it seems that the version voted on 12 October has been improved. However, the final text from the TRAN Committee is not available yet. Only after publication we will be able to check if there are not provisions going against the interests of online merchants in the Parliament’s text. So far, Ecommerce Europe has learnt that the provision granting unconditional access to postal delivery networks for 3rd party operators has been deleted. This will be left up to the market and commercial negotiations. The TRAN Committee has also decided to start trialogue negotiations with the other EU institutions. During the informal negotiations, we will keep advocating for a balanced parcel delivery regulation. Click here for the EPP press release after the vote.

  • Votes on reports on Digital content and tangible goods directives will take place at the end of November

As preliminary announced last week, both votes have been postponed. Last week we had been waiting for the confirmation that the vote on the draft report on the Digital Content Directive, scheduled for 12 October, would indeed also be postponed, as it was still on the agenda of the IMCO/JURI Committees until the very end. It seems that now the IMCO Committee vote on the tangible goods proposal will take place on 21 November, while the joint IMCO/JURI Committee vote on the digital content proposal will take place on 21-22 November. It seems that the reason for the delay of the vote on the Digital Content Directive is because MEPs could not find a preliminary agreement on the issue of guarantee for lifespan, which we do not support. For tangible goods, as preliminarily announced by the European Commission, the Commission is expected to issue a modified proposal to incorporate offline sales in the scope of the Directive, which was originally only covering distance sales. Ecommerce Europe has always supported the extension of the scope of the Tangible Goods Directive to include all B2C sale, as rules for online and offline sales should basically be the same in order to increase legal certainty for online merchants.

  • The Article 29 WP published revised guidelines on DPIA. New guidelines on their way…

The Article 29 Working Party has released a revised version of its Guidelines on Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). Ecommerce Europe sent its written feedback to the Article 29 WP on the draft guidelines already a few months ago. We will analyze the new text in the coming days to verify if our concerns have been retained. The Article 29 WP is also expected to finally publish new guidelines on consent, profiling and data breach notification. As soon as these guidelines are published, they will be open for public consultation for 6 weeks before their final adoption. As always, Ecommerce Europe will prepare written feedback for the Article 29 WP. More details can be found in the official press release of the last plenary of the Article 29 WP, which took place in October.

  • European Parliament’s IMCO Committee discusses Proposal on the Free flow of non-personal data

On 12 October, there was an exchange of views in the IMCO Committee of the European Parliament on the Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union (COM(2017)495). The exchange of views allowed the Commission to present its proposal to the IMCO (lead) committee, and MEPs to ask questions. Briefly, the proposal is supposed to remove barriers to build an efficient data economy. Obstacles to data mobility have been addressed as the core problem. According to the Commission, legislative and administrative localization restrictions are the underlying causes for this. The proposal aims at improving the conditions under which business can switch data storage and/or processing service providers, and facilizing cross-border availability of data. The Deputy Director General of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Ms. Claire Bury, stressed this proposal is important, especially when considering the value of the data economy in the EU. The data economy had an estimated overall value of €300 billion in 2016, accounting for 2% of EU GDP. She said that in 10 years, this value will be 18 times larger. She furthermore mentioned that the Commission has found that the removal of data localization restrictions will increase the data economy by 4% of EU GDP by 2020

Summary: 06.10.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 26-09 to 02-10. For information, please find attached the overview of current policy dossiers of the Working Committees on e-Regulations, e-Logistics and e-Payments.

This week, the Brussels team is busy processing the inputs came from the e-Payments and the e-Regulations Working Committee that Ecommerce Europe hosted in Brussels on 20 September. Besides this, the team is preparing for next week's event in Copenhagen. Some members of the Brussels team, in fact, will attend the Shoptalk Europe event from 8 to 11 October. The event will  cover innovation in retail and ecommerce. It focuses on the evolution of how consumers discover, shop and buy in an age of digital disruption. As always, the team is also busy preparing for upcoming meetings and lobbying actions.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

  • Ecommerce Europe co-signs industry letter on ePrivacy Regulation   

On Friday 29 September, Ecommerce Europe co-signed an open industry letter addressed to Members of the European Parliament regarding the ongoing discussions on the ePrivacy Regulation, stating our concerns regarding the draft law. The letter reflects on the fact that several proposed amendments to the draft report of MEP Marju Lauristin rightly support the essential objectives of the Reform. Nevertheless, almost none of these amendments are reflected in what seems to become the European Parliament’s position. At the same time, Ecommerce Europe has finalized its amendments to the ePrivacy Proposal. We specifically decided to target the Council of the European Union, which apparently will not be able to find an agreement on the dossier by the deadline that the Commission is seeking, namely May 2018, when the GDPR will be applicable in all Member States.      

  • Ecommerce Europe writes to EU delegations on the issue of VAT liability for marketplaces

Ecommerce Europe wrote to EU delegations in Brussels regarding the latest legislative developments of the VAT Reform for e-commerce. We have always supported the Commission’s proposal to reduce administrative and compliance burdens arising from the current VAT rules. The Commission’s proposal, with some adjustments that we proposed a few months ago, has the potential to reduce VAT-related issues and, ultimately, increases cross-border sales. Nevertheless, during the legislative process, the Commission’s proposal has been modified and Ecommerce Europe wanted to voice its concerns about two major changes included in a leaked Council Presidency’s Working Paper of 29 August 2017 and related to the introduction of a liability regime for online marketplaces and fulfillment houses.    

  • Deadline for REFIT consultation on EU consumer and marketing law is approaching           

The European Commission’s DG Justice & Consumers is seeking views from stakeholders regarding the Fitness Check of EU consumer and marketing law. The deadline to reply to the consultation is 8 October 2017. Within the e-Regulations Working Committee, Ecommerce Europe prepared its contribution, which will be sent before the end of this week to the European Commission. We invite National Associations to send also their contributions at national level by clicking here. Of course, the reply prepared by Ecommerce Europe can be used as a basis for the national position.

  • European Commission published Guidelines on tackling illegal content online

On 28 September, the European Commission warned multinational digital giants that it was prepared to introduce legislation in 2018 if their efforts to withdraw illegal content remained insufficient. The Commission presented a communication and guidelines that should help platforms withdraw this content on either hate speech or terrorist radicalization. Companies will have until May 2018 to apply these principles. If they fail to do so, they could be subject to stricter rules or sanctions. Nonetheless, the Commission seems confident about the fact that companies would be able to self-regulate before the deadline. In practice, the Commission is proposing practical tools to fight illegal content and respond rapidly by way of, for example, reporting procedures and more rapid withdrawal. The guidelines also call on the online platforms to further cooperate with the national authorities in the detection and reporting of the content in question. These platforms will have to establish points of contact, "to ensure they can be contacted rapidly to remove illegal content". Click here for the full press release and here for the Q&A of the Commission.

  • Taxation: Commission sets out path towards fair taxation of the Digital Economy  

The European Commission is today launching a new EU agenda to ensure that the digital economy is taxed in a fair and growth-friendly way. The Communication adopted by the Commission sets out the challenges Member States currently face when it comes to acting on this pressing issue and outlines possible solutions to be explored. The aim is to ensure a coherent EU approach to taxing the digital economy that supports the Commission's key priorities of completing the Digital Single Market and ensuring the fair and effective taxation of all companies. Today's Communication paves the way for a legislative proposal on EU rules for the taxation of profits in the digital economy, as confirmed by Commission President Juncker in the 2017 State of the Union. Those rules could be set out as early as spring 2018. Today's paper should also feed into international work in this area, notably in the G20 and the OECD. In the meantime, the Commission will continue to analyze the policy options and consult with relevant stakeholders and industry representatives on this important and pressing issue.

  • Message from our Greek association, GRECA

On behalf of our Greek national association GRECA, we would like to introduce you to Season Pacific. Season Pacific, a listed Hong Kong apparel company, is looking to invest, in start-up or mature companies related to apparel in retail - IT- licensing, B2B, or any segment adding value to its core business of designing-merchandising and B2B sales business. Season Pacific, provides innovative supply chain management solutions to its customers. The core business relies on a comprehensive range of services, some of those include technical solutions, research, design and product development to sourcing and production management and quality control services for clients based all over the world.

Summary: 28.09.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 19-09 to 25-09. For information, please find attached the overview of current policy dossiers of the Working Committees on e-Regulations, e-Logistics and e-Payments.

This week, the Brussels team is busy processing the output of both the e-Payments and the e-Regulations Working Committee that Ecommerce Europe hosted in Brussels last week. Besides this, the team is attending some interesting meetings and events. On Monday, Luca Cassetti is attending the E-Business Forum of our National Association APEK in Prague. At the conference, Luca will give a presentation about e-commerce, policies on the EU level and Ecommerce Europe’s perspective. As always, the team is also busy preparing for upcoming meetings and lobbying actions.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

  • Ecommerce Europe and 26 associations & merchants write to Commission President Junker on EBA RTS

Ecommerce Europe, together with 26 digital and e-commerce associations and online businesses today, 25 September, sent a pan-industry letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker on the industry’s continued strong concerns regarding the European Banking Authority’s and European Commission’s regulatory technical standards on Strong Customer Authentication. The letter comes in anticipation of the European Commission preparing their final draft and a meeting between the Commission and Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday 27 September. The European Commission is expected to officially submit the RTS to the European Parliament and Council at the end of September/early October for scrutiny and adoption or rejection.

  • Digital contracts proposals get postponed again in the European Parliament

The European Parliament's IMCO and JURI Committees postponed the votes scheduled on both reports on the distance sales of goods and on the supply of digital content. This is the second time that the votes get postponed. The IMCO and JURI Committees will vote on the draft report on digital content on 12 October, while the IMCO Committee is expected to vote on the draft report on goods only on 21 November.

On the proposal for the sales of goods, there is still no agreement between MEPs. However, it is quite likely that the proposal will cover both online and offline sales. Regarding the length of the legal guarantee period, itt seems that it will be fully harmonized to 2 years. However, those EU Member States that have decided to have a longer period may keep the current rules, if they wish. Goods with embedded digital content (i.e. a smart fridge) would be subject to the directive on digital content. However, it seems that for this type of goods, the legal guarantee period will be limited to 2 years.    

  • EU Commission publishes new proposal on the Free flow of data

On 19 September the Commission proposed a new  Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data. According to this proposal, Member States may no longer impose restrictions on the storage or processing of data in another Member State, unless it is justified on grounds of public security. Member States will have to notify the Commission of new or existing data localisation requirements. Together with the GDPR, this proposal is expected to allow the free movement of an data within the EU. This should ensure easier access to data. Sharing of data will also be facilitated, in order to foster innovation. Data localisation measures exist in many EU countries, and these restrictions prohibit entities from storing data in other EU countries or using foreign vendors. As a consequence, businesses may not be free to make full use of cloud services, choose the most efficient locations for IT resources, switch between service providers or port its data back to their own IT systems.

Summary: 21.09.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 12-09 to 18-09. For information, please find attached the overview of current policy dossiers of the Working Committees on e-Regulations, e-Logistics and e-Payments.
 
This week, the Brussels Team will be very busy with the e-Payments and e-Regulations Working Committees that will take place on Wednesday. Besides this, the team is busy preparing for upcoming meetings and lobbying actions. 

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

MEPs question role of ERPB in setting standards under the PSD2

In a question on 12 September, MEPs Svan Giegold (GER/Greens) and Sophia In’t Veld (NL/ALDE), question the European Banking Authority’s, European Central Bank’s and the European Commission’s decision to entrust the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) with the task of setting up a subgroup on payment initiation services (PIS), which is supported by a secretariat provided by the European Payment Council (EPC), for drawing up the technological requirements for dedicated interfaces as part of the ongoing RTS on Strong Customer Authentication and common and secure communication. Ecommerce Europe participates on the ERPB’s subgroup on payment initiation services.
The question comes as a follow up to an earlier question of May 2017 and questions specifically

  • The specific legal basis for entrusting the ERPB with this crucial task?
  • The specific legal basis requiring the EPC, which is not part of the institutional framework of the EU, to serve as a secretariat to the subgroup on payment initiation services?
  • Is the governance structure of the EPC adequate and fully compliant with all legal requirements, particularly when it comes to representing consumers, SMEs and retailers?

The MEPs’ question come as the European Commission prepares its final draft RTS on Strong Customer Authentication and common and secure communications which is expected to be submitted to the European Parliament and Council for consideration by the end of September. In its current form, the European Commission has taken into account a number of concerns raised by the European Parliament, but continues to show shortcomings on several crucial issues.

European Commission workshop on a ‘Marketing Plan to stimulate the take-up of eID and trust services for the Digital Single Market

Ecommerce Europe has been invited to participate in a European Commission stakeholder workshop on a marketing plan to stimulate the take-up of e-ID and trust services on 3 October. The eIDAS Regulation sets a predictable regulatory environment for EU citizens, business, and public administrations to confidently go digital through the use of electronic identification (eID) and trust services (i.e., e-signatures, e-seals, e-time stamping, e-delivery service and website authentication). Although demonstrably a large market interest exists for the use of eID and trust services, many parties are still unaware of the opportunities (and obligations) flowing from the Regulation creating a risk for the DSM. The Commission is currently preparing a study on the uptake of e-ID and trust services which looks to describe and understand how the market for eID and trust services is functioning and to suggest marketing actions to increase adoption services covered under eIDAS.

European Parliament approves Accessibility Act and maintains exemption for microenterprises
The European Parliament approved on Thursday 14 September the proposed European Accessibility Act, a major piece of legislation meant to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, adding that it is ready for potentially. The Report of MEP Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE) was approved by 537 votes to 12, with 89 abstentions. Løkkegaard Mentioned that he expects “trouble” with the Council, when EU ministers will start debating the proposal with the Parliament and the Commission in trialogue negotiations. The main reasons, according to Løkkegaard is that because many member states disagree with some of the elements of the text that has been voted, particularly those concerning the built environment requirements (not really touching the e-commerce sector). There is still no date for the trialogue negotiations because the Council (EPSCO) has yet to agree on its position. However, according to the Rapporteur, informal trialogues may start before Christmas. The good news for e-commerce is that microenterprises will be exempt from the act. Unfortunately, the amendment proposing a lighter notification regime for the SMEs relying on a derogation burden clause has not been approved. Without this amendment, SMEs would struggle with producing a cost-benefit analysis of accessibility requirements as it will require significant time and effort. Ecommerce Europe will keep advocating for a lighter regime for SMEs and raise attention on this issue at Council level.

Luca Cassetti will speak at E-Business Forum in Prague

Invited to speak by the Czech association for e-commerce, APEK, Luca Cassetti will give a presentation in Prague on 25 September at the E-Business Forum 2017. The theme of the conference if “expansion” and e-commerce. Luca will present the work done by Ecommerce Europe on some very specific dossiers, such as geo-blocking, the digital contracts proposals on goods and digital content, the reform to modernize VAT rules for e-commerce, the ePrivacy Regulations and its interplay with the General Data Protection Regulation and, finally, legislative and market solutions to improve parcel delivery.

Summary: 14.09.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 05-09 to 11-09. For information, please find attached the overview of current policy dossiers of the Working Committees on e-Regulations, e-Logistics and e-Payments.

This week, the Brussels Team is busy, attending several meetings and working on the preparations for upcoming meetings and lobbying actions. Besides this, the team is busy with preparations for the e-Payments and e-Regulations Working Committees on 20 September.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

Luca Cassetti appointed as Director of EU Public Affairs

Ecommerce Europe appointed Luca Cassetti as the Director of European Public Affairs of the association. Mr. Cassetti, who has officially taken up his new position as of today, will manage the Public Affairs agenda and the Brussels team of the association on a daily basis.

Luca Cassetti declared: “I am honored to take up the position of Director of EU Public Affairs and I look forward to continuing to represent the interests of the e-commerce sector, in close cooperation with our Members and with the support of the Brussels team of Ecommerce Europe. Even though the sector we represent is rapidly growing, online merchants still experience substantial barriers when selling in the EU. We need to keep advocating for a better policy landscape and propose our own market solutions in order to facilitate and increase domestic and especially cross-border sales to consumers in the EU”.

“We strongly believe that Luca Cassetti is the right person for this position”, stated Marlene ten Ham, Secretary General of Ecommerce Europe. “In his previous years as a Public Affairs Advisor for Ecommerce Europe, Luca has developed solid knowledge on the current and future challenges of the e-commerce sector. Most importantly, he has demonstrated great insight both on a strategical and executive level. I am very pleased that he will now be overall responsible for the management of Public Affairs activities of Ecommerce Europe”, Ms. ten Ham concluded.

Council is taking into considerations liability regime for online marketplaces and fulfilment houses on VAT

According to a recent leaked document of the Council seen by Ecommerce Europe, some changes proposed to the EU VAT Package of the European Commission are likely to have an important impact on online marketplaces. Together with Alan Rhode from Taxmen.eu, who is cooperating with Ecommerce Europe on this important topic, we analyzed the new proposals of the Council and wrote a first analysis. It seems that the Council is leaning towards the idea of:
Making fulfilment houses jointly liable for any VAT unpaid by non-EU businesses; and

  • Marketplaces directly liable to collect and pay VAT on consumer sales when the concerned products are imported from outside the EU and have a declared value lower than € 150 (= no strict controls at the EU customs border).

The new regulations cover two alternative situations: non-EU merchants shipping directly from outside the EU to the home of the consumer (last mile delivery) or, on the contrary, non-EU merchants using fulfilment houses in the EU to ship products to consumers (so the fulfilment house takes care of the last mile delivery). According to the new, not yet adopted text, it seems that fulfilment houses providing services to non-EU merchants for the delivery of consumer goods would be jointly and severally liable with the non-EU merchant for any unpaid VAT. The second part of the new provision says that fulfilment houses will be able to avoid any liability if they provide sufficient proof that they have acted in good faith and where no fault or negligence can be imputed to them. Moreover, it seems that the new text introduces new VAT obligations for marketplaces. In fact, online marketplaces facilitating the sale of consumer products imported from outside the EU with a declared value lower than € 150 would become liable for any VAT due on those sales. Please note that the leaked paper is not adopted yet, as discussions in the Council are still ongoing. Ecommerce Europe is currently assessing how to reply to these new potential provisions introducing such a liability regime in the VAT Reform.

Ecommerce Europe co-signs joint industry paper on the European Accessibility Act

Together with other business associations, Ecommerce Europe is calling on Members of the European Parliament to support the Report of MEP Løkkegaard on the proposed Directive for a European Accessibility Act (see attached). The Løkkegaard Report will be debated in the Plenary of the European Parliament on 13 September in the afternoon. The vote on the Report will take place the day after, on 14 September. However, it seems that the Løkkegaard Report has been generating discontent among social democrats and the radical left MEPs. According to a source in the Parliament, the S&D Group has some regrets, as they would have preferred a wider scope. The same source mention that S&D wants to remove all exemptions, including for microenterprises. At the Council, the negotiations are ongoing but it seems very tough. Most probably, no agreements are expected ahead of the upcoming Employment and Social Policy Council (EPSCO) on 23 October.

Estonian Presidency publishes its examination of the draft ePrivacy Regulation

In the context of the ePrivacy Regulation, a new Council document dated 8 September has been recently made publicly available on the Council website (click here for the document). It is an “Examination of the Presidency text” that was sent by the Estonian Presidency to the EU delegations in view of the next Working Party meetings in the Council, scheduled for 19, 20 and 25 September. Please note that this is not a final text and that the revisions made to the Commission’s proposal are based on the discussions held in the Working party until now. The objective of this document is clarifying certain elements and outlining specific issues to be examined for the purposes of advancing the discussions on the file. Therefore, the recitals have not been amended yet and the text focuses only on the articles of the Privacy Regulations. At the next meetings, the Presidency intends to discuss the text of the proposal article by article. During the discussion, the Presidency will invite EU delegations to express their views on proposed changes and also on the 10 policy issues set out in the document. The Presidency gave delegations the deadline of 27 September 2017 to provide written comments. As you may remember, Ecommerce Europe has published a Position Paper on ePrivacy already in July 2017 and of course we have been in contact with all relevant EU policymakers, before and after the publication.

Google challenges record fine

On 11 September, Google launched an appeal against the 2.4 billion euro fine imposed by the European Commission for favoring its own shopping service. Google last week notified the EU it would attempt to meet the demands of the EU decision. And lodging the appeal does not suspend the fine, meaning Google is still obliged to pay, although it can put the money in a blocked account until a decision is made. A court battle between Brussels and Google could take years to resolve and adds to an increasingly bitter row between the US giant and European countries. The EU is also expected to soon decide another case against Google over abusing its dominance of internet search to impose its Android mobile operating system.

Summary: 08.09.2017 r.

Ecommerce Europe has been selected for Commission's Expert Group on GDPR

On 1 September, the European Commission informed us that Ecommerce Europe has been selected by the Evaluation Committee of DG JUST to take part in the Multistakeholder expert group to support the application of the General Data Protection Regulation. This is great news for Ecommerce Europe and its members as the expert group will assist the Commission in identifying the potential challenges in the application of the GDPR from the perspective of several stakeholders and advising the Commission on how to address them. The members will also provide the Commission with recommendations on how to achieve an appropriate level of awareness about the new legislation among different stakeholders, including businesses and citizens. Finally, the group will provide the Commission with advice and expertise in relation to the preparation of delegated acts and, where appropriate and necessary, the early preparation of implementing acts to be adopted under the GDPR. Ecommerce Europe will have the chance to be part of this process and ensure that the voice of the online merchants will be taken into consideration. The first meeting of the group is planned for 19 October 2017 in Brussels.

Next Article 29 Data Protection Working Party FABLAB in October

The Article 29 Working Party is organizing another FABLAB event on 18 October 2017 in Brussels, to work with them on Transparency and International Data transfers. These topics are part of the WP29 GDPR Action Plan for 2017, and will further support the Article 29's consultation process for the implementation of the GDPR before its effective application.

Targeted public consultations on online marketplaces and free online services: deadline extended

The European Commission's Directorate General for Justice and Consumers has extended the deadline to its public consultations on the targeted revision of rules on online platforms and on rules on free services. We therefore invite our members that are concerned by the following two questionnaires to directly send their replies to the Commission:

1. Targeted revision of rules on online platforms: this questionnaire is targeted at merchants that operate as "online marketplaces" and merchants that sell goods and/or services on "online marketplaces". For the purpose of this questionnaire, an online marketplace is a service provider, which allows consumers and traders to conclude online sales and service contracts through its website. The questionnaire is available here. Deadline: 18 September 2017.

2. Targeted revision of rules on free services: this questionnaire is targeted at traders that provide "free" digital services (i.e. cloud services, storage services, email, social media, streaming services, SaaS, etc.). The providers of such "free" services may also monetise the service in other ways. Please see the targeted questionnaire here. The main focus is whether the protection under the Consumer Rights Directive should be extended also to contracts for online services for which the consumer provide data and does not pay with money. Deadline: 18 September 2017.

Invitation to the E-FORUM 2017 event

Ecommerce Europe received an invitation to participate to an event, the E-FORUM 2017, hosted by Retis on Tuesday 3 October 2017 in Liège (Belgium). The E-FORUM will be the first French-speaking Belgian forum dedicated to Connected Trade, Digital Business Transformation and E-commerce, bringing together the service providers (service providers, consultants ) and (merchants, (future) e-merchants, self-employed, small and medium-sized enterprises). The program consists of a day of activities, which aims at reaching a large target audience of traders, e-merchants and SMEs addressing three different but closely connected topics:
1. Digital transformation of enterprises
2. Connected trade and web-to-store solutions
3. E-commerce (with a focus on E-marketing; Delivery; Online payments; Sales platforms; E-commerce rules; E-business consulting and auditing ecommerce)

Summary: 01.09.2017 r.

This week, the Brussels Team is busy picking up the activities that were prepared for in the beginning of August. This means Brussels team will keep working on the preparations for the upcoming meetings and lobbying actions in September. Besides this, the team is busy with preparations for the e-Payments and e-Regulations Working Committees as well as the BoD meeting on 20 September.

See below, the policy highlights of this week:

European Commission supports single set of rules for both online and offline B2C sales

In a letter made publicly available earlier this month, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová informed the Council of the Justice Ministers of the EU of the position of the Commission regarding the extension of the scope of the proposed Directive on contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods to also face-to-face sales. This position is aligned with the position of the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for this proposal, MEP Pascal Arimont, and strongly supported by Ecommerce Europe. The IMCO Committee of the European Parliament is expected to vote on the draft report of MEP Arimont on 11-12 October. From the Council’s side, the Estonian Presidency has started the discussions on some important issues of this proposal, namely its scope. At the informal meeting of beginning July, the Justice Ministers agreed that the rules on online and offline sales should be coherent, although they had some procedural questions on how to extend the scope. These questions were then answered by Commissioner Jourová in the letter mentioned above. The Council is therefore expected to further proceed on this dossier. Ecommerce Europe will ensure that the voice of e-merchants will be taken in due consideration by policymakers.

European Commission published its Consumer Conditions Scoreboard 2017 edition

Just before the summer holidays, the European Commission published its Consumer Conditions Scoreboard. The Consumer Conditions Scoreboard monitors the consumer environment across Europe through three key dimensions: knowledge and trust; compliance and enforcement; complaints and dispute resolution. It also examines progress on the EU Digital Single Market from a consumer perspective. In a nutshell, the findings show that more consumers are buying online and their trust in e-commerce has dramatically increased especially in buying from other EU countries. Retailers, however, remain reluctant to sell online to consumers in other EU countries as their main concerns are higher risks of fraud and differences in tax regulations. They are also discouraged by differences in national contract laws, differences in national consumer protection rules, and potentially higher costs for solving disputes cross-border. Finally, compliance by retailers with consumer rules has also improved. As in previous editions however, significant differences between countries can be observed. Consumer conditions are generally better in northern and western EU countries than eastern and southern ones. Click here for more information and all the relevant documents.

Proposed technical security standards for payment services going in right direction, says Markus Ferber

MEP Markus Ferber (EPP) supported the opinion that the European Parliament can back the Commission’s position on the regulatory technical standards (RTS) for the revised 'Payment Services' directive (PSD2). Ferber said that the EPA's initial draft was too "bank­ driven", which justifies the need for changes to the text to make the RTS more balanced. The MEP agrees with the Commission, arguing that the compromise it put forward - recommending access through a dedicated interface but offering a fallback option allowing the use of a customer interface if the dedicated interface is unavailable or offers lower-quality access - is a "prudent way forward, as banks would have a strong incentive to provide high-quality access to third-party payment providers". No date has so far been set for future discussions at the committee on economic and monetary affairs of the European Parliament, Ferber confirmed on Wednesday 23 August. The timetable and format of proceedings will depend on when the RTS are adopted by the Commission, but also on their content; particular attention will be paid to whether the Parliament's concerns have been taken on board, he stressed.

Platform access to data for business users

During the holiday, Ecommerce Europe was contacted by VVA, a public policy consultancy with offices in London, Brussels and Milan. VVA is carrying out a project on data access and use for business operation on online platforms for the European Commission (DG GROW). The aim of the VVA-project is to create a better overview of the topic for the European Commission, which will ultimately feed into the design of a potential EU level intervention. To serve the purpose of the project, VVA has requested Ecommerce Europe’s input for answering the following questions:

  • Which categories of data are generated by business users and consumers through the use of online platforms (e.g. in an e-commerce context)? 
  • What is the value added provided by the platform with respect to these data and how does this differ across categories of data?
  • Which categories of data do business users have access to (and which not) and how can they re-use this data?
  • What are the economic impacts of different data access & re-use possibilities on business users of platforms?
  • What are the economic impacts of different data access & re-use practices on the platforms themselves?

Summary: 25.08.2017 r.

Platform access to data for business users
During the holiday, Ecommerce Europe was contacted by VVA, a public policy consultancy with offices in London, Brussels and Milan. VVA is carrying out a project on data access and use for business operation on online platforms for the European Commission (DG GROW). The aim of the VVA-project is to create a better overview of the topic for the European Commission, which will ultimately feed into the design of a potential EU level intervention. To serve the purpose of the project, VVA has requested Ecommerce Europe’s input for answering the following questions:

  • Which categories of data are generated by business users and consumers through the use of online platforms (e.g. in an e-commerce context)? 
  • What is the value added provided by the platform with respect to these data and how does this differ across categories of data?
  • Which categories of data do business users have access to (and which not) and how can they re-use this data?
  • What are the economic impacts of different data access & re-use possibilities on business users of platforms?
  • What are the economic impacts of different data access & re-use practices on the platforms themselves?

Ecommerce Europe introduces: Bitbond, expert on Blockchain

At the Global Ecommerce Summit in Barcelona last June, Ecommerce Europe welcomed founder and CEO of Bitbond, Radoslav Albrecht, as a speaker in its panel on blockchain. Bitbond is global marketplace lending platform for small business loans. It enables access to financing for small merchants and online businesses that usually get turned away from traditional banks. Following the fruitful cooperation between Mr. Albrecht and Ecommerce Europe, Bitbond has expressed interest to be connected to national associations. Should you be interested in Bitbond as a company, or in their expertise in the area of Blockchain more generally, please contact Pascal König at pascalkoenig@ecommerce-europe.eu.

Summary: 28.07.2017 r.

For an overview of the latest e-commerce related news from Brussels, please have a look at the attachment: Ecommerce Europe Monitoring 18-07 to 24-07. For your information, please also find attached the overview of current policy dossiers of the Working Committees on e-Regulations, e-Logistics and e-Payments.

With activities in the institutions winding down for the summer recess, the Brussels team, this week, is busy preparing its public affairs and lobbying strategies for the second half of the year, including the organization of the e-Payments and e-Regulations Working Committees on 20 September. Please note that the Brussels Secretariat will be closed for summer holidays from the 31st of July until the 21th of August. The next weekly update will be sent out on 28 August, which will be in a new layout in line with the Ecommerce Europe newsletter. Ecommerce Europe wishes all of its members a beautiful summer.

Policy highlights of this week include:

  • SAVE THE DATE: Ecommerce Europe Working Committee meetings

On 20 September, the next e-Payments (10h00 – 13h00) and e-Regulations Working Committee (15h00 – 18h00) meetings will take place at the premises of Ecommerce Europe at Rue de Trèves 59-61, Brussels.

  • New targeted public consultations on online marketplaces and free online services

The European Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Consumers has recently launched two new targeted public consultations, which next to the more general consultation on the REFIT of Consumer and Marketing Law. As Ecommerce Europe, we will prepare a draft answer only for the more general consultation on REFIT. We therefore invite our members that are concerned by the following two questionnaires to directly send their replies to the Commission:

  1. Targeted revision of rules on online platforms: this questionnaire is targeted at merchants that operate as "online marketplaces" and merchants that sell goods and/or services on "online marketplaces". For the purpose of this questionnaire, an online marketplace is a service provider, which allows consumers and traders to conclude online sales and service contracts through its website. The questionnaire is availablehere. The deadline for responding is 11 September 2017.
  2. Targeted revision of rules on free services: this questionnaire is targeted at traders that provide "free" digital services (i.e. cloud services, storage services, email, social media, streaming services, SaaS, etc.). The providers of such "free" services may also monetise the service in other ways. Please see the targeted questionnaire here. The main focus is whether the protection under the Consumer Rights Directive should be extended also to contracts for online services for which the consumer provide data and does not pay with money. The deadline for responding is 11 September 2017.
  • REMINDER: REQUEST FOR ACTION: Send Ecommerce Europe Press Release to national Ministries of Finance and Regulators

The European Commission has called a meeting with national experts on the EBA RTS for 27 July to discuss the current state of play and remaining concerns about the RTS on Strong Customer Authentication. This is one of the last chances for the e-commerce sector to raise its concerns and for Member States to raise the sector’s objections to the current draft RTS. On 13 July, Ecommerce Europe published a strongly worded Press Release calling out the shortcomings in the process of drafting the RTS and the Commission/EBA’s preference to protecting banks from fraud risk rather than helping the growth of e-commerce and the Digital Single Market.

Summary: 21.07.2017 r.

With activities in the institutions winding down for the summer recess, the Brussels team, this week, is busy preparing its public affairs and lobbying strategies for the second half of the year, including the organization of the e-Payments and e-Regulations Working Committees on 20 September. Besides this, the Brussels team is preparing for the final legislative stages of the geo-blocking dossier, the European Banking Authority’s draft RTS on Strong Customer Authentication under the PSD2. 

Ecommerce Europe calls out European Commission and Banking Authority in protecting banks, while threatening e-commerce with new draft rules on online payments

Ecommerce Europe, on 13 July, reiterated its strong objection to the European Commission and European Banking Authority’s draft Regulatory Technical Standards on Strong Customer Authentication. The Press Release highlights the fact that the institutions, throughout the drafting process, have time and again, demonstrated their strong backing of the banking industry at the expense of both, the European e-commerce and FinTech sectors, and the growth and success of Europe’s digital economy. For the full Press Release, please click here. For further information about the EBA’s draft RTS and Ecommerce Europe’s position please contact pascalkoenig@ecommerce-europe.eu.

TRAN Committee of the EU Parliament rejected the Draft Report on parcel delivery

On 11 July, the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament rejected the draft report of MEP Anderson. As you may remember, we had several concerns regarding the draft text of the Parliament, which would have imposed burdensome provisions on the e-commerce industry. We warned the EU Institutions several times, also through a joint statement with other trade associations, therefore it is good news for us that the Committee could not agree on the draft text last week. The discussions are supposed to start again after the summer break. We will organize another round of meetings with EU legislators just after the holidays to ensure that the draft text will be revised and improved, and not impose anymore unreasonable burdens on online merchants. For more information, please read our article here.

Ecommerce Europe will be interviewed on commercial guarantee for lifespan

The European Parliament (via CEPS, the Centre for European Policy Studies) is conducting a research on commercial guarantee for lifespan. This study aims at providing evidence and potentially guidance to the European Parliament’s IMCO and JURI committees on the amendments that were put forward in the context of the draft Directive on the distance sales of goods. These amendments would impose obligations on the manufacturers (but also traders) of certain goods (energy related and technical goods) to provide information on the expected lifespan of these goods and commercial guarantee. We managed to plan an interview with CEPS for Léon Mölenberg, our Senior Policy Advisor), who will be interviewed on 19 July. We will keep you informed of any developments on this topic.

Geo-blocking Regulation: state of play

Last week, MEP Schwab, replacing the Rapporteur MEP Thun, updated the IMCO Committee on the tripartite discussions on geo-blocking held on 27 June. MEP Schwab stated that the EP and the Council have managed to approach their positions regarding the applicable law, however there are still some divisive issues:

  • The scope of the Regulation
  • The rules on passive sales restrictions
  • The inclusion of digital services
  • The review clause of the regulation

The European Parliament showed considerable flexibility according to MEP Schwab, but unfortunately the dossier was not concluded under the Maltese Presidency. The negotiations will continue under the Estonian Presidency and the issues to be on top of the agenda will be:

  • The inclusion of non-audiovisual content and digital services (ebooks, software etc.)
  • The rules regarding the prohibition of passive sales restrictions
  • The clause related to the review of the regulation

The next trialogue meeting will be held in September, after the summer break, and the discussions will be highly technical as the MEP pointed out. Ecommerce Europe will stay in close contact with all relevant policymakers, to make sure that safeguards demanded by the e-commerce sector will be included in the text.

Summary: 14.07.2017 r.

This week, the Brussels Team is finalizing the follow-up of the Annual General Meeting as well as the Global E-commerce Summit that Ecommerce Europe hosted in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago. Besides this, the Brussels Team is working on preparations for some upcoming meetings and calls. On Tuesday, a conference call of our Trustmark Committee will take place. Furthermore, the team is preparing for a meeting with GS1 Europe that is scheduled for 19 July.

Policy highlights of this week include:

  • European Parliament’s TRAN Committee to vote on parcel delivery

Tomorrow, the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee will vote on the Draft Report of MEP Lucy Anderson on the Proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services. In view of this vote, Ecommerce Europe has identified several issues regarding the latest legislative developments. All our concerns were included in a Joint Statement that we sent to the European legislators. On Friday, Luca Cassetti spoke with Marie Frany, from the Cabinet of Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip. Luca had a good and open discussion with her on the latest developments of the draft regulation. She mentioned that the Commission has always been in close contact with the European Parliament and she confirmed that, in the TRAN committee, it is quite difficult for the S&D Rapporteur, Lucy Anderson, to reach an agreement specifically with the EPP and Markus Ferber (Shadow Rapporteur) and that indeed there are still quite some open questions. We will monitor tomorrow’s vote in the TRAN Committee and report back to you accordingly.

  • Article 29 Working Party reports on June’s meeting on the GDPR

The Article 29 Working Party, at the June plenary meeting, examined certain critical matters with regards to the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The WP29 discussed the 40 contributions received during the public consultation on the draft Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) guidelines, which ended on 23 May 2017 and to which Ecommerce Europe contributed. The final version of the guidelines will be adopted at the October plenary. Each WP29 subgroup provided a state of play of its works related to the GDPR and the 2017 Action Plan (consent, profiling, transparency, data breach notifications and data transfers) with the aim to adopt guidelines by December 2017. The official press release of the WP29 is available here.

  • ePrivacy Regulation, a priority for the Estonian Presidency of the Council

The Estonian Presidency of the Council sent a note (see attached) to the EU member states’ delegations on the draft ePrivacy Regulation. In the note, the Presidency reminds its commitment, already announced at the June TTE Council meeting, to advance further this important dossier. Estonia mentions also that it is clear from the progress report, discussions at working party level in the Council and delegations' written comments that there are still open questions. That is why the Presidency wanted to dedicate the first WP TELE on ePrivacy of today to that objective. Such meetings are not open to the public. The Presidency expressed its intention to focus on two sets of issues: the interplay between the ePR and the GDPR and issues related to processing information stored in the devices (cookies). More information can be found in the document attached. In the meantime, Ecommerce Europe revised its position on the ePrivacy Regulation and shared it again with EU policymakers. We are also coordinating with EuroCommerce, so that our positions will be as much as possible aligned. Ecommerce Europe received last week a preliminary proposal for amendments through the Industry Coalition of Data Protection (ICDP), of which we are a member. All ICDP members, including us, are welcomed to send feedback by 21 July. We will keep the e-Regulations Working Committee informed of all our activities accordingly.

Summary: 07.07.2017 r.

EBA publishes Opinion on RTS on Strong Customer Authentication – disagrees with Commission

On 29 June, the European Banking Authority published its Opinion on the changes made by the Commission to the draft RTS on Strong Customer Authentication and common and secure communication. While the EBA agrees with the aims sought in the European Commission's amendments, the EBA disagrees with some of the means by which the Commission is proposing to achieve that aim. More specifically, the EBA disagrees with three of the four proposed amendments, namely the proposals for statutory auditors, an SCA exemption for corporate payments and screen scraping. The EBA is of the view that the Commission’s suggested changes would negatively impact the fine trade-off it had found in achieving the various competing objectives of the PSD2. The EBA’s opinion, disagreeing with almost every change made by the Commission leaves open the fate of the RTS. At this point, all actors in the value chain are unhappy with the aspects of the draft RTS. The Commission is now expected to consider the EBA’s Opinion until the end of Summer before submitting the final draft RTS to the European Parliament and Council for approval or rejection by September. The Parliament and Council have up to 3 months to scrutinize the RTS but cannot make any further changes. 

  •  ENISA releases online trust authentication guidelines under eIDAS Regulation

On June 29, the European Union’s cybersecurity agency, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), published additional guidance on electronic signatures for the one-year anniversary of the eIDAS regulation on electronic identification and trust services. The electronic signatures guidance gives security guidelines, concrete examples of how eSignatures can assist companies, and gives a list of recommendations for using them correctly. 

  • European Commission launches Public Consultation on the follow up to the Fitness Check of EU consumer law and the CRD Evaluation

European Commission’s DG JUST has recently published a public consultation on the follow up to the Fitness Check of EU consumer law and the evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD), available here. Further to the recently concluded Fitness Check of consumer and marketing law and evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive, the Commission is seeking stakeholders' views on possible targeted legislative changes in some key EU consumer law directives. The evidence gathered during these assessments points to the following areas where legislative changes may be necessary to further fine-tune the cross-cutting consumer law body:

  • o providing more transparency on whom consumers conclude contracts with when buying on online platforms (online marketplaces) and whether EU consumer rights are applicable to such contracts;
  • extension of some consumer rights to contracts for online services where consumers provide data instead of paying with money;
  • individual redress/remedies for consumers harmed by unfair commercial practices, for example misleading green claims;
  • more proportionate, effective and deterrent financial penalties to tackle breaches of consumer laws;
  • simplification of some rules and requirements.

The consultation seeks stakeholders' views on the possible legislative changes listed above. All stakeholders, in particular businesses and their national representatives, are invited to fill in the questionnaire. Ecommerce Europe will prepare a draft response that will be discussed at our next e-Regulations Working Committee meeting on 20 September. The deadline to fill in the questionnaire is 8 October 2017.

  • Draft Geo-blocking Regulation: updates on trialogue negotiations

Commenting on the last trialogue negotiation with the Maltese Presidency that took place last week, MEP Roza Thun (Rapporteur for the proposal) expressed her disappointment because the Council blocked the agreement on the Regulation. It seems that an agreement in trialogue will only be possible after summer / in autumn. In the meantime, Ecommerce Europe keeps advocating for our position on geo-blocking.

The Parliament, with the IMCO Committee report voted in April 2017, proposed to:

  • ban passive sales restrictions (agreements between supplier and the trader that forces the latter to geoblock)
  • give more legal certainty for traders who sell cross-borders (we still believe that the previous solution, included in the draft report of MEP Thun, was clearer than the final version of the text adopted in IMCO regarding the applicable law)
  • stop the discrimination when it comes to software, music, e-books and videogames (in the territories where the trader has all necessary rights and licenses). 

The Council, however, blocked the agreement. MEP Thun declared that negotiators agreed to resume work with the Estonian Presidency, which has started on 1 July, aiming at finding solutions on the following issues: 

  • discrimination in digital services, such as e-books, music, video games and software,
  • rules prohibiting passive sales restrictions
  • review of this regulation.
  • European Ecommerce Report 2017

Last week, Ecommerce Europe together with EuroCommerce & the Ecommerce Foundation officially presented the European Ecommerce Report 2017 at a press conference. The report shows e-commerce trends, facts & figures and offers insights into each of the European e-commerce markets. As a result of the conference and official press release, the report was covered by various media outlets, such as POLITICO, Ecommerce News Europe,RetailDetail EUKashmirWatch & IT Reseller & Emerce. For questions about the report or press release, please contact Merel van Doorn atmerelvandoorn@ecommerce-europe.eu.

Summary: 30.06.2017 r.

This week, the Brussels Team is still busy with the follow-up of the Annual General Meeting as well as the Global E-commerce Summit that Ecommerce Europe hosted in Barcelona two weeks ago. Other than that, the Team is attending some interesting meetings and events. Today, Ecommerce Europe together with EuroCommerce and the Ecommerce Foundation hosted a press conference presenting the European Ecommerce Report 2017. On Tuesday, Pascal König is attending an EURACTIV event on FinTech strategy within the EU. On Wednesday, Luca Cassetti will be attending the “Start me up” event of our national association Fevad in Paris. On Friday, Merel van Doorn will be joining a Retail Data Seminar that is hosted by Ahold Delhaize.

Policy highlights of this week include:

  • European Parliament (EP) discussed draft e-Privacy Regulation last week

Last week, the LIBE Committee of the EP discussed the draft regulation on electronic communications and privacy. LIBE, which is in the leading committee for this legislative file, considered the draft report of MEP Lauristin on 21 June. The Rapporteur mentioned that the ePrivacy Regulation should be based on the article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and, for that reason, the goal of the regulation should be the protection of confidentiality of private life. The GDPR, instead, is based on Article 8 of the Charter, which is focussing on the protection of data and its collection. The scope of the regulation remains one of the most debated items. On consent via browser settings, the Rapporteur stressed that users are not always aware or in a position to set privacy protection through such settings. In her opinion, it is a complicated operation and, for that reason, the initial browser setting should be set to “Do not Track”. Hence, there should be a privacy by default and by design approach. In her opinion, the proposal should be ready in Autumn 2017 (October, tbc). The deadline for LIBE MEPs for tabling amendments to Lauristin’s draft report has been postponed from 5 July to 10 July. MEPs Boni and Dalton questioned the timeframe to adopt this regulation. MEP In ‘T Veld disagreed on the suggestion of not going fast with the legislative process as the regulation should be adopted in the agreed timeframe of May 2018. Ecommerce Europe is currently pro-actively lobbying on this file, as already mentioned in the previous updates.

  • EP TRAN Committee discussed draft amendments to Parcel Delivery Regulation

On 20 June, the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament had a meeting on the draft cross-border parcel delivery. The Rapporteur MEP Anderson introduced the consideration of amendments. She admitted that the topic is quite technical and clarified that the objective of this legislation should remain cross-border parcels and the improvement of the services in relation to the Single Market. The main issues, according to MEP Anderson, are regarding the scope, in particular whether the provisions in this Regulation governing price transparency and the assessment of prices should be applicable simply to Universal Service Providers (USPs) or to all parcel delivery service providers. The Rapporteur is willing to find a solution that does not create too many burdens on the business, provided that it provides a fair insight into the market for regulators. Also, she clearly mentioned that there is no will to create price regulation through price transparency. MEP Anderson is still hoping to have the TRAN vote on the report on 11 July. 

  • Joint Statement: Businesses concerned by the draft Parcel Delivery Regulation

Today, Ecommerce Europe sent a Joint Statement on parcel delivery to the EU institutions. In light of the most recent legislative developments, we have specific concerns regarding the draft Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services. That is why we approached again EU policymakers to give them clear indications on the position of the online merchants. The statement is available here

  • Compliance guide on the PSD2 RTS on Strong Customer Authentication and common and secure communication

On 23 February 2017, the European Banking Authority released its final draft of the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on Strong Customer Authentication and Common and Secure Communication under the revised Payment Services Directive 2. Following amendments by the European Commission, the draft RTS are currently under consideration for opinion by the European Banking Authority. The EBA’s recommendations are expected to be published over the coming weeks before the Council of the EU and MEPs will vote on the RTS before the end of the year. The PSD2 and its RTS on SCA will dramatically change how online merchants and their Payment Service Providers can operate both their checkout and their online payments processes. Once the PSD2 comes into effect in May 2018, financial services providers must have security solutions in place that will safeguard all client-to-server communications. Please find attached a helpful PSD2 security guide, which sums up PSD2’s client-to-server security directives, analyzes how they will affect the current online payments environment, and provide a clear path to compliance for online merchants and Payment Service Providers.

  • 17 EU Member States call for a high-level focus on completing the Digital Single Market

In a letter sent to the President of the European Council on 21 June, leaders from 17 EU Member States call on the European Council to fully commit to the success of the Digital Single Market, stating that it was the Single Markets main driver of growth. The letter, drafted by Poland and co-signed by leaders from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the UK, calls on President Tusk to ensure EU Heads of State and Government would properly discuss the 16 policy initiatives proposed by the European Commission under its 2015 Digital Single Market Strategy. Among others, the letter to calls for “a future-oriented and positive approach to emerging technologies such as Blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence”.

  • Ecommerce Europe presents European Ecommerce Report 2017

Today, Ecommerce Europe together with EuroCommerce & the Ecommerce Foundation officially presented the European Ecommerce Report 2017. The report shows ecommerce trends, facts & figures and offers insights into each of the European e-commerce markets. European e-commerce turnover increased by 15% to €530 billion in 2016. For 2017, the European B2C e-commerce turnover is forecasted to reach around €602 billion, a growth rate of nearly 14%. Attached to this email, you’ll find the Press Release that was sent earlier today. 

Summary: 23.06.2017 r.

This week, the Brussels Team is mainly busy following up the Annual General Meeting as well as the Global E-commerce Summit Ecommerce Europe hosted in Barcelona last week. On Wednesday, Luca Cassetti will be joining the Summit of our national association BeCommerce that focuses on how to revolutionize the parcel delivery market. Lastly, the Brussels team is preparing for the release of the annual European Ecommerce Report 2017, that will take place on Monday the 26th of June.

Policy highlights of this week include:

  • Parcel delivery on the agenda of TRAN Committee meeting this week

Ecommerce Europe has drafted another statement on the draft Parcel Delivery Regulation, which takes into account a draft proposal for compromise amendments to MEP Anderson’s draft report. We are currently discussing with other EU associations interested in co-signing the statement, which will be sent out in the coming days to all relevant policymakers. Tomorrow, the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee has scheduled for 15h00 the consideration of amendments on the proposal, while the final report of MEP Anderson may be expected on 11 July.

As you may remember, Ecommerce Europe has already sent a statement to policymakers in the past weeks and prepared a toolbox for national associations to increase lobbying activities at national level. 

  • Update on draft ePrivacy Regulation        

MEP Marju Lauristin, Rapporteur of the LIBE Committee for the proposed ePrivacy Regulation, discussed Digital Assembly 2017 in Malta on 15 June about the draft ePrivacy Regulation.  The draft report is available here. The ePrivacy Regulation regulates the protection of the confidentiality of electronic communication in the context of telecommunication services as well as variety of online activities, such as browsing, using mobile phones, social networks or communication apps, connected devices. It also concerns unsolicited marketing communication. Rapporteur MEP Lauristin has proposed stricter privacy protection than what the European Commission proposed. An update on the content of the LIBE draft report will be sent soon to the e-Regulations Committee of Ecommerce Europe, which deals with this proposal. The Rapporteur announced that her draft report will be discussed at the LIBE Committee meeting of 21 June and then further amended. The deadline for tabling amendments is 5 July. Ecommerce Europe already sent a detailed statement on the draft ePrivacy regulation to all relevant policymakers and is starting soon to meet with them. 

 

Summary: 09.06.2017 r.

This week, the Brussels team is attending some interesting meetings and events. Today, Léon Mölenberg will attend another meeting of the Stakeholder Consultation Group for the Fitness Check of EU Consumer and marketing law. The Commission will give a brief update, followed by an exchange of views, on the Fitness Check and the CRD evaluation. Tomorrow, Léon will be at EuroCommerce for stakeholder meetings on regulatory issues. However, the Brussels team is this week mainly busy with the last preparations for the Global E-commerce Summitwhich will take place on 12-14 June 2017 at the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I, Barcelona

  • European Commission changes to European Banking Authority’s draft RTS on Strong Customer Authentication published

On 1 June, the European Banking Authority published the European Commission’s changes to its draft RTS on Strong Customer Authentication. Overall, the Commission’s proposed changes have primarily been in the area of interfaces and PSP access to account data. Ecommerce Europe, over the coming days, will come up with revised lobbying strategy for the European and the national level.

The most relevant exemptions from SCA for Ecommerce Europe are:

  • Trusted beneficiaries (Art. 13)

Payment Service Providers are exempted from having to apply SCA when the customer initiates a transaction and when the merchant has been listed, by the customer with his bank, in a previously created list of trusted beneficiaries. When the customer first creates or amends the list, SCA will have to be applied. 

  • Recurring Payments (Art. 14)

For recurring payments, SCA will apply whenever a customer creates, amends or initiates for the first time a series of recurring transactions with the same amount and the same online merchant. Payment Service Providers are exempted from SCA for all other payments in the series, given that the amount and the merchant are the same.

  • Low value transactions (Art. 16)

The €30 threshold for the exemption from SCA remains in place. Customers will have to undergo SCA, when 1) the cumulative amount of previous transactions since the last application of SCA exceeds €100 and/or 2) the customer has undertaken more than 5 transactions since the last application of SCA. 

  • Secure corporate payments (Art. 17) NEW

Corporate payments are exempted from the application of SCA as long as they are initiated through dedicated corporate payment processes or protocols where the competent national authorities are satisfied with their compliance of security standards. 

  • Transaction risk analysis (Art. 18)

The Commission has not made any changes to the exemption of SCA based on transactional risk analysis with the Reference fraud rate percentagesfor the monetary thresholds of €100, €250 and €500 unchanged.

The Commission’s proposed changes to the draft RTS are now with the EBA for opinion and are expected to be forwarded to the European Parliament and Council by September. Both the Parliament and Council have up to 3 months to scrutinize the draft RTS and can only accept or reject the draft RTS. 

  •  Exchange of views at the EU Parliament’s LIBE Committee on ePrivacy

On 8 June, the EP LIBE Committee will have an exchange of views on the Proposal for a Regulation on ePrivacy. In view of the LIBE meeting, Ecommerce Europe prepared a written statement with our position on this proposal, based on the feedback received by our members. Currently, the e-Regulations Working Committee is assessing the final version of the text, which will be sent by the Brussels team before the EP meeting. It seems that the Rapporteur, MEP Lauristin, still maintains her objective of producing her draft report by the end of this month, with deadline for amendments to the report by 5 July. The adoption by the LIBE Committee could be expected in October (tbc).

  •  Ecommerce Europe published update Manifesto on Parcel Delivery

Ecommerce Europe has recently published an updated version of its Manifesto on how to innovate the cross-border parcel delivery market. On 9 June, the TTE Council will discuss about the proposal for a Regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services and Ministers will tentatively try to reach a general approach on the text. In view of this discussion, the Brussels team prepared a toolbox for national associations which gives them instructions on the actions they should undertake to lobby at national level. From our side, we are reaching out all Permanent Representations to the EU in Brussels, to share our concerns and position on the draft regulation. We will monitor the meeting of the Council on 9 June and will report back to you accordingly.

  •  Global E-commerce Summit 2017: Member registration still open!

Ecommerce Europe Company Members, Business Partners and Associative Partners have some time ago received an e-mail linking to a dedicated online portal for registration to the Global E-commerce Summit 2017 (12-14 June). Ecommerce Europe Company Members qualify for 1 complementary ticket, Ecommerce Europe Company Members PLUS qualify for 2 complementary tickets; Ecommerce Europe Business Partners qualify for 2 complementary tickets; Ecommerce Europe Associative Partners qualify for 1 complementary ticket; and Ecommerce Europe Associative Partners PLUS qualify for 2 complementary tickets. As the Summit is coming closer as we speak, we would like to urge you to complete your registration as soon as possible. Confirmation of your registration will be dependent upon membership status. If you have not done so already, Ecommerce Europe would like to invite its Members to register, to make full use of their Membership packages. 

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