European Commission Publishes List of Top Barriers for Small Businesses in EU

March 14, 2013

The European Commission has published the result of a questionnaire asking micro, small and medium-sized businesses for input on what they view as the most burdensome legislation in Europe. We encouraged eBay sellers to contribute their views, and we are confident many sellers did. With a total of 1,000 respondents from Member States as well as non-EU countries, the picture that emerges is consistent with what we hear from eBay sellers who seek to expand operations within, into or outside the EU.

According to the EU respondents, VAT and customs controls and formalities are among the top three areas where EU policy is the most burdensome to business. The non-EU respondents also point to customs as a top barrier, and add transport of goods to the list. This mirrors the results of our own efforts to understand the perils for small traders wanting to expand beyond their borders. It is also consistent with what can be found in third party reports.

eBay is committed to enabling trade that connects individuals and businesses, regardless of size and location. We recognize this cannot be done by technology alone and will require adaptation by legislation and administration to a new digital and connected reality. To that end, our extensive economic research provides a foundation on top of which we are together with governments, policymakers and influential organisations – see here and here – exploring potential policy solutions to the type of barriers exporters bump into, especially small exporters. Not the least in the area of customs and delivery. The list now published by the Commission confirms the importance of this work.