The European Commission’s (EC) communications on changes to the eCommerce directive are likely to be published in Q3 2011, with many people believing this will be around September, with the organisation seeking to further improve online cross-border trade in Europe.

Harrie Temmink, deputy head of the online unit of the directorate-general internal market and service decision, announced earlier this week: “Our aim is to present an action plan on the issues that need to be overcome to achieve a single digital market, and we will try to clarify certain provisions of the directive and its relationship with other directives (such as data protection).

“The objectives are broadly similar to the original document: to remove obstacles for international trade, and provide clarity for citizens and businesses on legal issues around online trade to build trust in the system.”

He revealed that the European Commission had received 425 responses to the consultation from companies and governments, and said that most argued that there should not be any major changes to the directive.

Many of those respondents called for improvements to certain provisions, including the notice and take down of sites of fraud and copyright infringement, and the improvement of payment systems that currently only work in certain countries.

Temmink admitted that that EC is aware of these issues and that it is looking to overcome this in other ways that will be flagged up in the report.

“We have a chapter on the international dimension of e-commerce, because one of the problems we are facing is that we do not have a global forum on the topic, as we do with other issues such as intellectual property,” he said.

“We do have broader trade agreements, though, so we intend to put more emphasis on ecommerce as an economic activity and focus on the restrictions that may exist between trade blocs.”

Temmink added that the EC would not follow suit with some other nations and would never place a monitoring obligation on internet service providers.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit