Complexity in cross-border e-commerce law stymies readers | All of Deutsche Welle′s social media channels at a glance | DW | 19.11.2010
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Complexity in cross-border e-commerce law stymies readers

Even though we live in an age when ease of information means you know there might be a product you want to buy from another country, cross-border e-commerce is not always simple. Our readers add their two euro cents.

A computer graphic shows a shopping cart in a digital environment

E-commerce law is not simple enough some say

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

The following responses come from the Deutsche Welle Facebook page.

I see the problems with small business trying to gouge the customer and afraid to let go of the benefits they have obtained from their cozy support of politicians. Although small business gets a good press (partly because they make up the bulk of advertising) they often present as many challenges to consumers as the more criticized big business. -- Fergal

Yeah ... it really sucks that if I move to Germany I will have to give up most of the things I enjoy eating; things that are readily available in the US, like homemade burritos and even peanut butter (which my German friends love). It also really sucks that I sent a record player as a gift to my boyfriend and it cost me $90 (66 euros) to ship it and then he had to pay 45 euros to get it out of customs or whatever once it got there! So not cool! I wish it wasn't like this. I'd like to be able to share more with him if we have to live on opposite sides of the planet right now. -- Kadesh

This situation has improved in the last few years - I can get nearly anything shipped from the UK or Germany to Poland now. The biggest problems at this point are those artificial problems - products offered for sale elsewhere, like DVDs with regional codes or certain smart phones that show up in some countries long before they show up in others. Retailers and their retailing associations are often their own worst enemies. -- Brad

If you ship it as gift, personal items or any other description of the contents of your package it is not in any way considered commercial or merchandise. If it is commercial merchandise you do need to specify that though, just to stay out of (tax) trouble. -- Ard

Stupid international media laws, I can't buy Jeans Team albums or non-mainstream European music anywhere other than online and even then it is hard to find things. I can't find German television on the Internet other than clips on Youtube. I can't imagine life without peanut butter. Amerikaner lieben Erdnussbutter weil er so lecker ist! Nearly everything Americans buy is made in China. -- Erik

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Rob Turner