New E-commerce Regulations
Dear online business owners and also shoppers, as of 1st July 2013, an online marketplace operator is required to, among others, provide their full details, terms of conditions of sale, rectification of errors and maintenance of records
The new law applies to two (2) types of persons namely:
- A person who operates a business for the purpose of supply of goods or services through a website or in an online marketplace (“Online Business Owner”). “Online marketplace” means a website where goods or services are marketed by third parties for the purpose of trade. This may include your typical blog shops and sellers with accounts with eBay, Lelong and Mudah online stores.
- A person who provides an online marketplace (“Online Marketplace Operator”). This may include group buying websites operators such as GroupOn, auction and listing websites such as eBay, Lelong and Mudah, and online shopping websites where third party products as sold such as Zalora.
Online business owners
Under the Regulation, Online Business Owners shall disclose on the website where the business is conducted and the following information, failing which the operator commits an offence.
- The name of the person who operates a business for the purpose of supply of goods or services through a website or in an online marketplace, or the name of the business, or the name of the company.
- The registration number of the business or company, if applicable.
- The e-mail address and telephone number, or address of the person who operates a business for the purpose of supply of goods or services through a website or in an online marketplace.
- A description of the main characteristics of the goods or services.
- The full price of the goods or services including transportation costs, taxes and any other costs.
- The method of payment.
- The terms and conditions.
- The estimated time of delivery of the goods or services to the buyer.
Any person who discloses or provides the above information that he knows or has reason to believe is false or misleading, commits an offence.
Online Business Owners shall also:
- Provide the appropriate means to enable the buyer to rectify any errors prior to the confirmation of the order made by the buyer; and
- Shall acknowledge receipt of the order to the buyer without undue delay.
The order and the acknowledgement of receipt shall be deemed to have been received by the person who operates a business for the purpose of supply of goods or services through a website or in an online marketplace and the buyer, respectively, when the person and the buyer are able to access to such order and the acknowledgement of receipt.
Online Marketplace Operator
The Online Marketplace Operator shall take reasonable steps to keep and maintain a record of the names, telephone numbers and the address of the person who supplies goods or services in the online marketplace, for a period of two years, failing which an offence is committed.
In addition to the terms and conditions, Online Business Owners and Online Marketplace Operators must comply with the Notice and Choice Principal provided by Personal Data Protection Act 2010 by inserting a privacy notice, in the National and English languages, on their website before the collection of any personal data.
Online business owners, if you’ve yet to set your terms and conditions for your online business, have a go at this online terms of services generator to help you out
With all these new regulations in place, we hope that this would curb online fraud in e-commerce and make online shopping processes smoother for both merchants and shoppers. Know of any additional resources that could help your fellow online business owners? Do share with us!