The European Union’s other initiative was the Omnibus Directive. It was preceded by markets’ supervision and control of the entrepreneurs' legislation. It led to the detection of many examples of deception, fraud, and infringements in the member countries' national markets policies. The main aspects that it covers are changes in national markets and the digital sphere regarding prices, discounts, special offers, and protection of consumer rights as a result. It is vital to mention that individual consumers will have a right to compensation in case of unfair commercial actions. What’s next?
For example, in Poland, the documents are being discussed in the Sejm. It is foreseen that the enactment should take place this autumn. It sends a strong message to Polish enterprises to start adopting the main changes it carries along and be prepared for the new law reality. Although The Digital Polish Association is trying to postpone the implementation date to better adjust interpretations, it is the best time to act. What exactly will change?
All of them should be aware of what’s to come. Here you will find the main aspect prepared by EY (consulting global leader):
It doesn’t seem so scary and difficult at first sight. There are some dilemmas in the long run, though. Some people argue to which extent those regulations are applicable. The above-mentioned Digital Polish Association mentions 3 aspects of great concern:
Hence, this means that businesses must ensure that their systems comply with the new rules before this date. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines (more in the next paragraph). The Omnibus Directive is part of the EU's wider efforts to create a Digital Single Market, and it is hoped that it will make it easier for businesses to trade electronically within the EU. What's more, to protect the customers. The Directive is also intended to boost consumer confidence in ecommerce by ensuring that their rights are better protected.
There are a few key things that ecommerce businesses should take note of, such as the following:
As a result of the Directive, ecommerce businesses will need to review their practices and ensure that they comply with the new rules. This may require making changes to the way in which data is collected and processed.
What will sadden entrepreneurs and enterprises is the fact high fines of up to millions of euros for the lack of appropriate information about the prices, discounts, special offers, etc. As an example, the directive introduces fines of up to 4% of the annual turnover of the accused company/entrepreneur when there is evidence of any financial fraud. What’s even more concerning is that countries can individually raise fines in their national legislation. So to speak, any disobedience is planned to be punished, so the best scenario is to be well-informed and aware of the changes.
On the other side of the story, there is the gradation of fines and circumstances given by EY, which should always be taken into account, such as:
Entrepreneurs shouldn't be worried immediately. All they have to do is apply those regulations to their business and follow the EU rules. Here are our main tips for you:
To make it a bit easier for you all, we created a short list of general tips you should pay extra attention to:
Having listed all the generic issues, we encourage you to implement them immediately in your businesses and secure yourselves with clear processes regarding new laws.
And, of course, this is not the end of the changes for entrepreneurs under the Omnibus Directive. The cross-sectional nature of the proposed solutions shows that adjusting to the new requirements will not be possible without a thorough analysis of a given entrepreneur's activities and cooperation between legal departments and marketing and IT teams.
In the context of pricing regulations, an entrepreneur should take into account aspects such as the sales channels and price information techniques they use, the customers they target, whether they are part of a capital group or a franchise network, etc., when planning changes to their business. In fact, the whole concept of sales policy needs to be rethought, if only to decide whether to introduce, for example, a loyalty program or a type of promotion that has not been used so far with the entry into force of the new legislation.
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