New E-Laws Could Cost Firms Up to Pounds 250,000; Small Business in Association with RBS

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Byline: By Iain Laing

BUSINESS bosses in the region are urging MEPs to carry out a review over regulation proposals they say could cost e-commerce businesses more than pounds 250,000.

North-East business owners and members of the Federation of Small Businesses this week travelled to Brussels to meet European counterparts to talk about the issue.

They are concerned the European Commission's 'Rome I' proposals would mean some firms would be forced to ditch their online business.

Article 5 of the Rome I rules mean businesses would have to adhere to laws in whichever country the consumer lives, rather than those in which the firm is based.

The FSB claims it would cost each business pounds 15,000 per member state in legal fees to comply with the regulations.

The federation's North-East policy chairman, Bill Keenlyside, said: "There are 27 member states, so at pounds 15,000 per member state, it would cost in excess of pounds 250,000 for firms to comply.

This type of cost would price some small firms out of business.

"With members of other northern FSB regions, we held a meeting with the European Small Business Alliance to understand the full impact and to see how we can work together to push MEPs to leave the trading rules as they are. …