The European Commission (EC) is looking at changing ecommerce rules to standardise regulations and make shoppers feel safer online.

Maglena Kuneva, the new consumer protection commissioner said: "There is an urgent need for action.”

An European Union (EU) survey found that 71% of consumers believe it is more difficult to resolve complaints and return goods bought overseas.

Kuneva launched a two-month consultation period for interested parties to make recommendations before April. But it’s thought the EC will aim to reduce trade borders between EU member states and make the seller subject to the laws of the home country of the consumer, which some areas of the retail industry have dismissed as unworkable.

Kuneva, who is putting out her first policy paper since becoming Bulgaria's first commissioner, said she aimed to overhaul rules on guarantees, refunds and cooling-off periods for transactions made over the internet and over the telephone.

According to EU figures, over a quarter (26%) of EU consumers bought goods and services from companies based in other member states last year, but only 6% of them did so via the internet.