The EU Geo-blocking Regulation — 2022
Produced in partnership with Craig Giles (partner) and Rebecca Clarke (associate) of Bird & Bird LLP
Last updated on 01/06/2022

The following EU Law practice 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 EU Geo-blocking Regulation
  • Who the EU Geo-blocking Regulation applies to
  • General exceptions to the EU Geo-blocking Regulation
  • Traders and online marketplaces
  • Prohibitions on unjustified geo-blocking—access to online interfaces
  • Prohibitions on applying different general conditions of access to goods and services
  • Applying different general conditions of access to sale of goods
  • Applying different general conditions of access to electronically supplied services
  • More...

The EU Geo-blocking Regulation

Post-Brexit

The UK revoked the EU Geo-blocking Regulation from 1 January 2021 (under the Geo-blocking Regulation (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/880), the end of the UK-EU transition period. As such, there are three scenarios’ UK businesses must now consider:

  1. selling goods and services in the UK to UK customers: UK businesses do not need to follow EU Geo-blocking Regulation rules

  2. selling goods or services into the EU to EU customers: UK businesses must still follow EU Geo-blocking Regulation rules, and

  3. buying goods and services from the EU as a UK customer: UK customers can be treated differently from EU customers. EU businesses do not have to follow the EU Geo-blocking Regulation when selling into the UK

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

  1. background on geo-blocking and its effects

  2. scope of the EU 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 EU Geo-blocking Regulation does not impact

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

  9. enforcement

  10. European Commission review of the EU Geo-blocking Regulation

Geo-blocking and its effects

Geo-blocking generally refers to the practice of traders in one country preventing

Related documents:
Key definition:
Brexit definition
What does Brexit mean?

means: (a) the United Kingdom (UK) ceasing to be a member state of the European Union (EU) and/or the European Economic Area (EEA) on Exit Day; and/or (b) the commencement, end of[ or variation in] any transitional, trading or other arrangements from time to time between: (i) the UK and the EU and/or EEA (including during any implementation period and IP Completion Day); and/or (ii) the UK and any other country, group of countries, international organisation, bloc or body (including the World Trade Organization) in contemplation of or (directly or indirectly) in connection with the UK’s said cessation of membership;

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