The European Commission's communication on changes to the eCommerce directive will be published in the autumn, most likely at the end of September, as the organisation seeks 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 division, told attendees at a Westminster Forum event on Tuesday that the document will focus on key areas to meet these goals.
"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]," he said.
"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."
Temmink revealed that the EC 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.
However, many called for improvements to certain provisions, including the notice and take down of sites guilty of fraud and copyright infringement, and the improvement of payment systems that currently work only in some nations.
Temmink claimed that the EC is aware of these issues, but that the lack of a single coherent global forum on e-commerce issues is hindering discussions.
However, he added that the EC 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, however, that these restrictions will not be easy to overcome owing to different approaches to the issues created by online trading, such as data protection and privacy.
He explained that the EC would never place a monitoring obligation on internet service providers as some nations do.
The non-confidential responses to the consultation will be published on 13 June.
At the same event, a member of the Department for Media, Culture and Sport said that the government wants the EC to be bold with any changes to drive ecommerce spending, and urged it to get tougher on enforcing the implementation of regulations to do this.
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