Status of “fulfilment centres” with regard to the economic operators under the New Legislative Framework

Published: 1 October 2015

Policies & Issues: Internal Market - Compliance, Standards & Enforcement

The deployment of e-commerce has contributed to generalising the possibility for both consumers and professionals to directly import products from a vendor established outside of the EU without the intervention of an importer.

In such cases, products are often supplied by the vendor to the end users with the support of a third party carrier that provides so-called ‘fulfilment’ services. ‘Fulfilment’ refers to the process initiated in a company when an order for the shipment of a product is received. This may include warehousing, finding the item ordered, packaging it, and shipping it to the correct address.

While the use of fulfilment centres is not new, Orgalime understands that it may appear challenging for market surveillance authorities faced with the development of cross-EU border e-commerce.  However, we consider that instruments currently exist to stop rogue trading practices without imposing obligations on fulfilment centres which would be inappropriate with regard to their role in the supply chain of products. 

We call on the European Commission and member states to clarify in the revised version of the Blue Guide 2014 the status of fulfilment centres with regard to the existing legal framework.

Authors

Portalier
Philippe Portalier
Director - Better Regulation, Compliance and Standards

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