The European Commission has launched a tool that should help online retailers, especially small and medium enterprises, with selling online and going cross-border. The tool provides guidance on what the legal rules are and what steps need to be taken to be compliant with certain laws and regulations.
Laws and regulations
As ecommerce become an increasingly mature business, more and more laws and regulations come in place. This is also because Europe desperately wants to have one, unified ecommerce market. The Directive on Consumer Right is one of these examples. As of 13 June 2014 it replaced certain directives and it’s focused more on protecting the online consumer than the European Union did before.
The European Commission has raided several companies which sell consumer electronics online on suspicion of illegal behavior. Also websites selling video games online were part of an investigation, because of possible geo-blocking of sales. The European Union is apparently working hard to help remove barriers to cross-border trade in the 28 European countries.
The British Retail Consortium urges the Government to make steps in consolidating cross-border consumer right and to push the EU to remove the barriers hindering online trade between European countries. Also a mini-Common European Sales Law should be implemented.
Starting 1 January 2015, there are new VAT regulations, aimed at businesses that sell electronic products and services to private individuals within the European Union. From the first day of 2015, the place of taxation will be where the customer lives, rather than where the supplier of the service is established. Here’s what you should know about these incoming changes.
Avalara, that helps businesses achieve compliance with tax requirements, and payment service provider GlobalCollect are partnering up. The strategic partnership should simplify cross-border ecommerce by offering ecommerce businesses localized payment solutions, while ensuring they remain fully compliant with transactional tax regulations.
The High Court in the United Kingdom has decided that Internet service products must take action to restrict access to websites that are selling physical counterfeits, such as clothing and jewelry, when a brand owner requests this. This is the result of Swiss luxury company Richemont going to court some months ago.
The Federal Council of Switzerland wanted to introduce a right of return for the local ecommerce industry, just like has happened in the majority of Europe, but the National Council was against it. Even if this meant Swiss consumers would be disadvantaged against EU citizens. But for purchases over the phone, customers still have some important rights.
An online store that claimed to ‘deliver anywhere’ in its TV ad, lost a battle started by a costumer living on the Scottish Shetland Islands who complained the ad is misleading because the company refused to deliver to the Scottish Island.
No, Amazon didn’t make a typographical error at its site. The American retailer is really charging its French customers for shipping at the rate of one euro cent. And it has everything to do with the ongoing feud between Amazon and the French government.
Online merchants in France won’t be able anymore to offer free shipments of discounted books. That’s the result of new legislation that was passed last week by the French Senate. The law is designed to protect local bookstores and is unofficially called the anti-Amazon law, as the retail giant gave book discounts along with free shipments, something local bookstores could not appreciate at all.