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Everything that changes in Germany from March 2018

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Everything that changes in Germany from March 2018
The cost of smoking in Germany will see an increase starting this month. Photo: DPA
08:34 CET+01:00
From the price of cigarettes to the availability of Netflix, March 2018 will bring a lot of changes to Germany.

1. Cigarettes will become more expensive

Smokers in Germany will have to start paying more for their cigarettes by the end of March.

In January, cigarette multinational Philip Morris shared with distributors that starting March 1st either the price of a pack of cigarettes will increase or the number of cigarettes in pack will decrease.

As an example, a pack of Marlboro available in vending machine will contain only 22 cigarettes instead of the previous 23, but will continue to cost seven euros. According to the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, the L&M and Chesterfield brands will also see a rise in the price of cigarettes in proportion to the number of cigarettes available.

The cigarette industry in Germany brought in over €21.4 billion in revenue last year according to the German Cigarette Association - of which €15.7 billion was paid back to the state in taxes. 

2. Copyright law is changing for educators and scientists

As of March 1st, the rules for the use of copyright in education and research will be revised.

The aim is to create greater legal certainty for universities and researchers in the age of digitalization, according to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The new law will allow, for example, secondary education teachers to publish copyrighted works more easily for student access. Furthermore, scientists will be able to analyze larger numbers of research texts with the appropriate software.

Libraries will be able to send digital copies of scientific articles to individuals upon request - a development that under the previous law was impossible.  

3. Streaming will be available anywhere in Europe by the end of March 2018

Streaming fans, be on the lookout: if you have been dreaming of using your paid streaming subscriptions while on holiday, starting March 20th you can do so anywhere in Europe.

'Dark' is the first ever original German Netflix series. Photo: DPA

Up to this point, streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and Sky Go have had country locks that prevented use when outside of the country of purchase, also known as geo-blocking.

Starting at the end of March, customers can begin using these services in other EU countries, as these blocks will be lifted. This means that providers may not levy additional fees for use outside of the home country or prevent access to those within the European Union who pay for the service.

Just over a year ago, the European Parliament passed a decree abolishing geo-blocking for fee-based streaming services, according to the Augsburger Allgemeine. Important to note, however, is that this only applies if you are abroad for a limited time, such as a holiday or business trip.

4. People will pay less in fees on cash deliveries

Those who like to order products on the Internet often choose to pay cash upon delivery. This means that you have to pay the value of the product to the postman at the time of its delivery.

On top of that, however, there are two additional fees that must be paid when choosing to pay in cash on the spot: the COD, or cash on delivery, charge as well as a delivery fee.

Starting March 1st, 2018, customers who pay for their order in cash on delivery will no longer have to pay the COD charge, effectively only paying the additional cost of delivery. The hope is to make ordering online more accessible for paying with cash for delivery.

Photo: DPA

5. All new cars must come with an emergency call system installed

A new law is set to make new cars safer. Starting March 21st all new cars must come equipped with the eCall emergency call system.

In the event of an impact, the emergency system will be triggered automatically and a voice connection will be immediately established with the Rescue Coordination Centre. The system then sends along detailed information to the Centre, including the exact location of the vehicle and impact assessments, to enable first responders to arrive at the incident as quickly as possible.

According to the Augsburger Allgemeine, the emergency button can also be triggered manually and can be discontinued in the event of an error from within the vehicle.

In order to adhere to the new regulation, all new cars must come installed with a GPS receiver antenna, crash sensors and an intercom.

SEE ALSO: Everything that changed in Germany from February 2018

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