Since the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations were introduced in 2002 it has been a legal requirement to make certain information available on your eCommerce website, in addition to what was already required by other legislation (such as the Companies Act).
If you’re advertising or selling products and services online, you can use this checklist to score your own website against the regulations*. If you’re in any doubt, contact your local trading standards office, who should be able to give you some further guidance. You must:
- include the full name of your business
- include your full address
- include contact details (with an email address)
- include details of any trade association you belong to, whose register is open to the public
- include the details of any supervisory authority relevant to your service
- include details of any professional body or institution with which you are registered
- include details of any professional titles you hold and details of the Member State in which such titles were granted
- make a reference to any professional rules and how end users can access them
- include details of your VAT number
- include a clear indication of prices
- include details of any associated taxes and delivery costs
- make clear prior to purchasing:
- the different technical steps to follow in order to conclude the contract so that end users are made aware of what the process will involve and the point at which they will commit themselves to the contract
- whether or not the concluded contract will be filed by you and whether it will be accessible
- the technical means for identifying and correcting input errors made by an end user prior to placing an order so that end users know how to correct any mistakes they make
- the languages offered for the conclusion of the contract
- where you have Terms and Conditions, include a way which allows them to store and reproduce them
- acknowledge receipt of the order without undue delay and by electronic means
- make available appropriate, effective and accessible technical means which will allow them to identify and correct input errors prior to the placing of the order.
* I have only included the regulations relevant to your actual website, not mail outs and other forms of electronic advertising. For more information about this, see this Business Link PDF.