Shoppers are not getting the best out of e-commerce because of problems buying from foreign websites, a new report says.
Only 6% of European consumers buy goods from websites based outside their own countries.
One third of those who tried to do so had their business refused by the e-retailer, the draft European Parliament report says.
Lack of confidence in online sales means Europe lags behind the United States and Asia for e-commerce.
The report says: "In the light of the lack of confidence of European consumers in the digital environment and the many factors that limit cross-border e-commerce, it is regrettable that the EU currently has no strategy of its own that would help resolve the situation."
MEPs are calling for a new strategy to make it easier for shoppers to buy goods from websites based in European countries other than their own.
A European charter of users' rights should be established to set out the rights and obligations of online shoppers and retailers, according to the report which is backed by the European Parliament's committee on internal market and consumer protection.
The committee wants a European online trust mark to be created for retail websites. And it is calling for an early-warning system to be set up to combat online fraud.
But the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), which represents UK-based e-retailers, blamed old-fashioned laws for problems with selling goods to overseas customers.
IMRG chief executive James Roper criticised the "legal uncertainty" surrounding internet shopping across different countries. "The EU's consumer e-commerce marketplace is not working well, largely because it is severely blighted by legislation that may have made sense in the pre-internet age but is now often absurdly inappropriate," he said.
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Γενικές ερωτήσεις και απαντήσεις που έχουν σχέση με το Internet και την καθημερινή του χρήση.
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