How will Brexit impact ‘Geo-Blocking’? | Hudson McKenzie

How will Brexit impact ‘Geo-Blocking’?

Last year, the EU introduced a new Geo-Blocking regulation regarding online e-commerce – so how will Brexit effect its implementation?

“Geo-Blocking” is a means of blocking or limiting the access of traders online in relation to their customers from different countries who participate in “cross-border” transactions.

For instance, at present the EU Geo-Blocking Regulation prohibits the following:

  • The blocking of access or redirection away from a website based upon users nationality or place of residence.
  • Discrimination by traders, specifically regarding customers nationality or place of residence.
  • Discrimination by traders in relation to a means of payment used in transaction.

However, as the UK prepares to the leave the EU, how will Brexit effect the use of Geo-Blocking Regulation within the UK, specifically in a ‘no-deal’ scenario?

The UK Government recently published a text outlining exactly what would happen in the likelihood of a no-deal scenario, in which it was stated that post-Brexit, the ‘UK Version’ of the Geo-Blocking Regulation would be repealed.

By repealing this regulation, this means that all of the prohibited activities outlined in the regulation shall no longer be prohibited within the UK. For instance, it would not be a prohibited activity for traders to discriminate between EU and UK customers.

However as the EU will continue to keep the Geo-Blocking regulation, UK Traders are reminded that the prohibitions will still apply to them if they are trading within the EU, specifically with EU Customers.

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