Classifieds marketplaces 
to key EU Public Policy objectives

We contribute to
the Green Transition

By trading on our platforms, European consumers and businesses are given the opportunity to buy or sell used items, extending the lifespan of the product and giving it a new purpose. This is what we mean by empowering consumers participating in the circular economy. Our local dimension enables the transition to circular consumption in local communities throughout Europe.

We contribute to
the Digital Transformation

Online classifieds promote economic inclusion, empowering both consumer and (small) business sellers. Our services allow private sellers to easily sell items they no longer need or want and allow buyers to save money by giving them access to millions of second-hand products, finding unique items and great deals. For small businesses and entrepreneurs we provide the opportunity to easily transition online in the way they choose and give them the platform and national reach to become successful, fostering economic growth in local communities.

Our policy priorities

EU Environmental Delegated Act

— The EU’s Taxonomy Regulation aims to support the transformation of the EU economy to meet the 2030 climate targets and the objectives of the European Green Deal. On 5 April 2023, the Commission launched a four-week feedback period on a new set of EU Taxonomy criteria for economic activities making a substantial contribution to environmental objectives, including the transition to a circular economy.

— CME welcomes the Draft Taxonomy Environmental Delegated Act, as it recognizes second-hand marketplaces as an economic activity that can provide a substantial contribution to the circular economy. By enabling the reuse of goods, CME’s marketplaces play a crucial role in driving the EU’s transition toward a circular economy. 

To further enhance second-hand marketplaces’ contribution to this transition, CME proposes amending parts of the Draft Delegated Act to cover a broader range of their services that contribute to the circular transition. 

— For example, some CME members provide peer-to-peer rental of second-hand products, which enables consumers to rent pre-loved products rather than buying new ones.This service should be included in the taxonomy. Making this, and other similar amendments, is vital to ensure that a more significant portion of the circular contribution of second-hand marketplaces falls within the taxonomy.

Digital Services Act (DSA)

— The DSA was presented on 15 December 2020 and, along with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), will complement the 2000 e-Commerce Directive and the Platform-to-Business Regulation, as announced in the 2020 Commission’s Communication on Shaping Europe’s digital future. It will broaden the material scope compared to the existing e-Commerce Directive as the rules will apply to online intermediary services and impose harmonised and asymmetric obligations for distinct categories of online intermediaries: intermediary services; hosting services; online platforms and very large online platforms.

— CME welcomes the DSA proposal put forward by the European Commission and shares the Commission’s view that the core principles of the 2000 E-Commerce Directive are still fit-for-purpose and futureproof: (i) the Country-of-Origin principle; (ii) the prohibition of general monitoring obligations; (iii) the principle of limited liability. CME also supports a risk-based approach as we fear that a horizontal approach to all online platforms will result in unintended consequences for low-risk platforms like online classifieds that have an almost exclusive local focus and where the majority of trade is C2C and second-hand.

General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR)

The proposal for a Regulation on general product safety aims to update and modernise the general framework for non-food consumer products, and to align the market surveillance rules for non-harmonised products with the rules that apply to products falling under the scope of EU harmonisation legislation. The proposal was presented in June 2021 and is part of the 2020 New Consumer Agenda, which puts forward the EU’s policy priorities in the area of consumer protection and the role of consumers in the digital and green transitions.

— CME welcomes the proposal to review the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) put forward by the Commission and believes that the proposal rightly aims to better protect consumers and provides more legal certainty. CME also supports a risk-based approach, as we fear that a horizontal approach to all marketplaces will result in unintended consequences for low-risk platforms like online classifieds that have an almost exclusively local/national scope and where the majority of trade is between consumers (C2C) acting in individual (non-commercial) capacity in second-hand products. We believe the reuse and resale of (safe) products that are already on the EU market should be maximised and consumers should not be discouraged from buying and selling second-hand products which ultimately benefit circular consumption. It is also key to ensure consistency between the different legislative instruments impacting marketplaces: for purposes of legal certainty, providing a consistent regulatory framework between the GPSR and the Digital Services Act (DSA) will be essential, including on the definition of online marketplaces and trader traceability obligations.

Right to Repair

 The initiative on the sustainable consumption of goods promotes a more sustainable use of goods throughout their useful life. It will encourage consumers to make more sustainable choices by providing incentives and tools to use goods for a longer time, including by repairing defective goods. It will also encourage producers to design goods that last longer and are easily reparable, help reduce unsustainable consumption and its negative impact on the global environment and climate, and help build a circular economy.

As Classifieds Marketplaces, we foster a culture of reuse and repair, given that consumers and businesses sell and buy second-hand goods on our platforms. Circular consumption and extending the lifespan of products is in our DNA. By giving previously owned goods a new purpose, we help to extend the lifecycle of products and allow consumers to make a positive impact on the circular economy.

— We are of the view that with the European Commission promoting sustainable consumption of goods by promoting repair and reuse the opportunities to increase the take-up of second-hand goods and repaired products will be on the rise. As classifieds marketplaces, we provide the right platforms for all to sell and buy these products. We, therefore, support the main objective of this initiative, to encourage consumers to use consumer goods for a longer time, by repairing defective goods and by purchasing more second-hand and refurbished goods. Encouraging people to consume more sustainably and reduce waste fits our ambitious efforts to foster a circular economy to help mitigate climate change, and we, therefore, support this initiative.

Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)

This Regulation will revise the Ecodesign Directive and propose additional legislative measures as appropriate to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable. Consumers, the environment and the climate will benefit from products that are more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable, and energy-efficient. 

— CME welcomes the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) proposal put forward by the Commission. CME believes that the proposal rightly aims to reduce the negative life cycle environmental impacts of products and improve the functioning of the internal market. CME also welcomes the objective of the proposal to boost the supply and demand for sustainable goods. To ensure that online classifieds marketplaces can continue to play an active role in the green transition by fostering the sale of second-hand goods, we call on the Commission and co-legislators to:

1. Target products that are made available on the EU market for the first time;
2. Exclude C2C (but not B2C) transactions from the scope;
3. Ensure a harmonized legal framework, including consistent definitions, for online marketplaces and traders;
4. Clarify the scope with regard to second-hand products;
5. Align the Digital Product Passport with the specificities of second-hand trade to promote the circular economy.

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