The EU Geo-blocking Regulation
Produced in partnership with Craig Giles (partner) and Rebecca Clarke (associate) of Bird & Bird LLP
The EU Geo-blocking Regulation

The following Commercial guidance note Produced in partnership with Craig Giles (partner) and Rebecca Clarke (associate) of Bird & Bird LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The EU Geo-blocking Regulation
  • Geo-blocking and its effects
  • Scope of the Geo-blocking Regulation
  • Prohibitions on unjustified geo-blocking—access to online interfaces
  • Prohibitions on applying different general conditions of access to goods and services
  • Prohibitions on discrimination when taking payments
  • Restrictions on passive sales
  • Confirmation of key commercial matters the Geo-blocking Regulation does not impact
  • Steps traders should take
  • Enforcement
  • more

Brexit: As of exit day (11pm on 31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources and Brexit toolkit.

Regulation (EU) 2018/302, the Geo-blocking Regulation (applicable from 3 December 2018) addresses unjustified geo-blocking and certain other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the EU internal market.

This Practice Note examines the key provisions and what approaches businesses need to adopt to comply with the Geo-blocking Regulation, including:

  1. background on geo-blocking and its effects

  2. scope of the Geo-blocking Regulation

  3. the prohibitions on unjustified geo-blocking

  4. the prohibitions on applying different general conditions of access

  5. the prohibitions on discrimination when taking payments

  6. restrictions on passive sales

  7. confirmation of certain key commercial matters the Geo-blocking Regulation does not impact

  8. steps traders should take to comply with the Geo-blocking Regulation

  9. enforcement

  10. impact of Brexit

  11. next steps

Geo-blocking and its effects

Geo-blocking generally refers to the practice of traders in one country preventing or restricting customers’ access to their online interfaces (such as websites and mobile apps) as a result of the