June 29, 2011


Many new internet laws are coming into force and there have been considerable changes in the past few years to protect the interests of all who venture online. In 2002 the E-commerce Regulations came into effect throughout Europe and basically apply to all online businesses.

The E-commerce Regulations apply to those that:

* sell goods or services to businesses or customers on the internet or by email or SMS text messages 

* Advertise on the internet or by emails on the SMS

* Convey or store electronic content for customers , or provide access to a communications network.

The regulations provide guidelines and rules about advertising, marketing and the information that you need to provide to your customers. All online businesses need to ensure that they are complying with the regulations.

Some of the main provisions include the following

1) The businesses needs to comply with the relevant laws and regulations pertaining to their country. There are exceptions and you need to find out what is relevant to your situation. 
For example, businesses that trade with customers elsewhere in Europe may have to comply with rules or regulations in the customer's location.

2) Specific information about your businesses needs to be made available to your customers.

3) There are requirements concerning contracts. If you have a business or customer contract that is delivered electronically, the individual has to be able to print or store a copy of the contract's  terms and conditions.

4) When placing orders customers must be allowed to change or correct their order before it is placed and the  website must acknowledge receipt of an order.

5)  Advertising using the internet, email or mobile phone must be  clearly  identified as an advert and must identify the business responsible for the advert. Any conditions of promotions, competitions or games, including condition of participation,  must be clearly clarified and accessible.
The regulations also cover unsolicited commercial communications . 

Information requirements.

The following information should be displayed on your website.

1) your name and contact address

2) your email-address

3) details of any professional organisation that you belong to

4)  your VAT registration number and company registration number if applicable.

Also , when mentioning prices, you need to make clear to your customer whether there is any tax or delivery costs.


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