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Practical example: Geoblocking

On this page, you will learn more about the shipping method you select for countries in which you are not commercially active.

1. What is the “Geoblocking regulation”?

Broadly speaking, this means that a customer who wants to sell a certain item online must not be treated differently or excluded from selling the item due to the location of their residency.

The official name of this European regulation is

REGULATION (EU) 2018/302 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 28 February 2018 on addressing unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market and amending Regulations (EC) No 2006/2004 and (EU) 2017/2394 and Directive 2009/22/EC.

For further information, refer to the website of IT-Recht Kanzlei  (German only).

2. Possible workarounds

In the forum, we collected information from our sellers and wrote it down for you so you can also use it. Thank you that you are helping each other.

There are two possibilities to take into account these certain countries:

  1. Allow only for self pick-up (e.g. in Germany)

  2. Do not offer any shipping method (error message in the online shop)

Generally, the first step is to set those “remaining” countries in which you have not previously been commercially active to Active in the Setup » Orders » Shipping » Settings » Tab: Countries of delivery menu.

A region is required to which these countries are added. To do so, go to Setup » Orders » Shipping » Settings » Tab: Regions.

GEO Region
Figure 1. Region with countries of delivery

If you want to allow self pick-up, you have to activate the new region in the corresponding shipping profiles in the table of shipping charges to make it valid. It is also possible not to add these countries to any region. In this case, an error message will occur in the online shop.

A region is not automatically activated for a shipping profile. You might have the impression that it is already activated because the new region appears also in the table of shipping charges. However, clicking on the Save button is required. Look at the following image to see a table of shipping charges that is not activated for a region:

GEO Versandprofil nicht aktiv
Figure 2. Non-activated region of a shipping profile

For the first case, with one country of delivery in the “Geoblocking region”, only the shipping profile Self pick-up would be selectable in the online shop. You should add a note here where it is possible to pick up the order.

For the second case, it is possible to have no selection of a shipping profile in the online shop. In this case, an error message would appear.

Adjusting the error message

Different settings for Ceres and Callisto

For Ceres: Adjust the error messages in the CMS » Multilingualism menu in the Ceres » Notifications area. The key is called notificationsCalculateShippingFailed.
For Callisto: Adjust the error messages in the Setup » Client » Global » Language packages menu.

Adjusting the error messages for plentyShops is done in the CMS » Multilingualism menu in the Ceres » Notifications area. The corresponding key is called notificationsCalculateShippingFailed.

Adjusting the error message for Callisto shops (old online shop) is done in the Setup » Client » Global » Language packages menu. To do so, select the Error messages area from the drop-down list and click on the magnifying glass. The error messages 53 and 156 would be most appropriate.

GEO cms multilingualism ceres notifications
Figure 3. Ceres: Adjusting the error message in the multilingualism menu
GEO Fehlermeldung anpassen
Figure 4. Callisto: Adjusting the error message in the language package menu

In plentyShop, this could look like this:

GEO Webshop Ausgabe
Figure 5. Display in the online shop

You should also not forget to adjust the shipping conditions in your own online shop accordingly. For example, you could add a note to avoid that your customer only recognises this during the order process. This note should contain the countries where you are commercially active. For example, you can add a list of countries to which you ship your items and, if applicable, in which countries it is possible for the customer to pick up the items by themselves.

3. Checking other areas

In this practical example, we describe the work arounds related to the shipping methods. However, you should also check other settings where new countries are not activated automatically.

  • Payment methods

  • Sales prices

The menu path to the settings of the payment methods that you offer may vary depending on the plugin: They can be found in the Setup » Orders » Payment » Plugins menu or in the Setup » Orders » Payment » Payment methods menu. You need to link the desired payment methods accordingly.

Also go to Setup » Item » Sales prices and check if a valid sales price is available so your customers can put items to the shopping cart.

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