New EU law to hit online retailers

Tighter rules on refunds and returned goods set to become law
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The European Parliament is to vote on new laws designed to 'harmonise' cross-border online retailing and mail order in favour of consumers.

Under new rules an returned goods must be refunded within 14 days in Europe, or within seven days if the retailer and customer are in the same country, with retailers responsible for shipping costs.

Some unconfirmed reports indicate that the bill will say that refunds should to be made before the returned goods are received. Pan-European websites may also be required by the new law to translate into all the languages of the EU,

The Interative Media in Retail Group (IMRG) has written to the European Parliament to protest at the proposed bill, which will be voted on this week on Wednesday March 23rd. The bill has already been approved by the European Parliament's Internal Market Committee (IMCO) on February 1st.

The bill was designed to simplify cross-border online retail, where the laws of the country where the seller is based are different to those of the buyer's country.

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