Geoblocking Regulation (Regulation EU 2018/302) in force since 03.12.2018.

This new regulation aims to prevent unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on the customer's nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. Free trade in the European Single Market should be further strengthened.

What impact will the regulation have on my online shop?

The Geoblocking Regulation (Regulation EU2018/302) has some implications for online shop operators. Measures that discriminate against customers on the basis of their place of residence or the establishment of their company and cannot be justified are in fact prohibited under the new regulation.

We summarise the most important effects on your online shop for you

1. you must generally design your online shop in such a way that all interested parties from EU member states can access your online shop without any problems. You may not exclude any interested parties from European member states from your online shop. If you have a multilingual online shop, further particularities must be observed. Exceptions to this obligation exist for access restrictions that are necessary to meet legal requirements.

2. they may not use different GTCs determined by the nationality, residence or place of establishment of the customer.

3. you may not exclude customers from other European countries from buying goods in your online shop. This means that you may not restrict the sale of your goods to customers from the Federal Republic of Germany. This is not permitted as of 03.12.2018.

You must now also allow customers from EU member states to buy goods from your online shop. However, this does not result in an obligation to deliver goods abroad. You can continue to limit the delivery area to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

If this is the case and a customer from a European country other than Germany gives a delivery address in the Federal Republic of Germany, however, you must sell the goods to this European customer and ship them to the domestic address. Insofar as you enable a collection of the purchased goods at your place of business, a customer from another European country must also be enabled to collect the purchased goods at your place of business.

4. it is further prohibited to apply different conditions to a payment transaction within the framework of the payment conditions offered in the online shop on the basis of the nationality, place of residence or place of establishment of the customer, the location of the payment account, the place of establishment of the payment service provider or the place of issue of the payment instrument within the Union.

This means for you that you must accept payment from foreign accounts if the means of payment is offered in the online shop. You must also not unjustifiably restrict the means of payment to individual countries.

What do I need to change in my online shop?

Summary - What to do:

1. you may need to adapt the general terms and conditions in your online shop to the new legal situation. All clients who have had their GTCs drawn up by us and provided with an update service will automatically receive updated GTCs.

2. you must ensure that your online shop accepts billing addresses from other countries.

3. they must ensure that the customer is not discriminated against in the choice of payment methods, i.e. basically the same payment options for all domestic and European customers.

4. there must be no access blocks to your online shop for interested parties outside the Federal Republic of Germany.


If you have any questions on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.


GoldbergUllrich Attorneys at Law 2018

Attorney at Law Michael Ullrich, LL.M. (Information Law)

Specialist lawyer for information technology law