Retailers denounce "unfair advantage" of AliExpress

"AliExpress has an advantage over its competitors"

Two Dutch retail organisations have issued a joint report that says non-European webstores such as AliExpress are not in compliance with local regulations. Detailhandel Nederland and Thuiswinkel.org therefore think such shops have a competitive advantage that is deemed unfair.

 

Uneven playing field

The interest organisations for store proprietors have presented a report entitled 'An even playing field for Dutch proprietors'. According to the organisations, there is unfair competition, mostly from Chinese webshops.

 

The organisations are particularly worried about the safety and quality of the goods sold on non-European webshops. Quality labels are often missing, toys tend to contain outlawed substances and electric appliances do not always adhere to the European safety regulations. "There are countless examples of foreign traders who do not respect the European regulations on safety and product quality or the protection of Dutch consumers," Margriet Keijzer of Detailhandel Nederland says.

 

Not in compliance with Europe

AliExpress also uses sales conditions that are not in compliance with European regulations. Several European consumer organisations have already protested against this, including the Dutch Consumer Alliance and Test-Aankoop.

 

A final point of criticism concerns VAT and import duties: a party that takes care of the import of products that cost less than 150 euros into the EU, does not have to pay any duties. If the amount is lower than 22 euros, VAT is also dismissed. Non-European webshops also do not pay any expenses for recycling waste. "Unfair competition," claim the interest groups, who want the same rules for any webshop that delivers goods to the Netherlands.