Detailed guide: Geo-blocking of online content after Brexit

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This page tells you what to do if there’s a no-deal Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.

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This guidance provides information to consumers, business customers, traders and regulators on the government’s plans in relation to the Geo-Blocking Regulation if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

The Geo-Blocking Regulation bans:

  • blocking access to, or forcing redirection away from, a website on the basis of an internet user’s EU nationality or place of residence within the EU
  • discrimination by traders on the basis of the customer’s nationality or place of residence when they are purchasing:
    • goods online
    • electronically supplied services (such as web hosting or cloud storage, but not copyrighted material such as ebooks and streamed movies)
    • services provided in a specific physical location (such as a theme park)
  • discrimination by traders against a means of payment solely on the basis of its place of issue within the EU

The regulation came into force in the UK in December 2018.

Actions for businesses

Businesses do not need to take any action to prepare for changes to geo-blocking rules if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

Providing goods or services to the UK and EU

Traders from the UK, EU and other non-EU countries will no longer be obliged to comply with the EU Regulation for customers based in the UK. They will not be prohibited from discriminating between EU customers and UK customers. This means a trader can redirect UK and EU customers to different versions of a website, offer different terms of access to EU customers compared to UK customers, and would be less restricted in choosing which payment methods they accept.

Traders who are already complying with the Geo-Blocking Regulation prior to Brexit will not need to take any additional steps to continue to comply with the EU Geo-Blocking Regulation after Brexit - they will be free to continue treating UK and EU customers as they did when the Geo-Blocking Regulation applied if they wish.

Providing goods or services to different EU countries

UK traders who wish to continue selling goods and services into the EU will continue to be bound by the provisions of the EU Geo-Blocking Regulation when dealing with customers in different EU countries. This means that a UK trader will not be able to discriminate between customers in different EU countries, for instance between a French and a German customer.

More information

More information on traders’ continued obligations in relation to EU customers are available on the EU Commission website.

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HM Government
By HM Government

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