Benelux agreement leads to easier buying and selling in the Benelux

The prime ministers of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands today announce measures that should lead to one joint retail market. This makes it easier for retailers to trade across borders and easier for consumers to buy across the border. Key priorities are the equalization of rules, simplification of VAT payments and information about entrepreneurship across the border

The prime ministers of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands today announce measures that should lead to one joint retail market. This makes it easier for retailers to trade across borders and easier for consumers to buy across the border.

Key priorities are the equalization of rules, simplification of VAT payments and information about entrepreneurship across the border. The measures will soon create one market of 28 million consumers. There is more competition, which makes the prices sharper and more innovation possible.

A shopkeeper can not now sell his entire range in another country. The packaging must first be adjusted. For example, chocolate milk can be sold in the Netherlands, in Belgium it can not be called chocolate milk if it is based on cocoa instead of melted chocolate.

Another example is the return of packages. The route from Antwerp to Roosendaal is about four times as expensive as that from Rotterdam to Roosendaal, while the distance is the same. For example, Luxembourg retailers have to buy razor blades at a price that is higher than the sales price in German supermarkets.

The European internal market for products should be completed in 1992. Now, 23 years later, retailers and consumers are still encountering obstacles in cross-border sales and purchases, according to Retail Trade Netherlands trade association. At European level, for example, it has still not been possible to straighten out rules and procedures relating to consumer protection, VAT and excise duties.