Ecommerce & Distance Selling Regulations : A Guide

When selling goods online you must comply with the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (formerly Distance Selling),  e-Commerce Regulations, regardless of whether your customers are individuals or businesses. If you sell goods or services at a distance or you sell digital content you must also comply with the Consumer Rights Act 2015. When taking consumers personal information you must also comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

This is an introductory guide for full details visit the GOV.UK website links as listed below

 

Distance Selling Legal Requirements

  • Your business name,  contact address and email address
  • Telephone Number. If providing a telephone number state the costs of calling the number if above standard rates.
  • Limited Companies : The place of registration, registered office address and company registration number.
  • VAT Number if applicable
  • A description of the goods or services.
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Privacy & Cookie Policy
  • Contract period if a subscription or payment over a period
  • Selling price (including taxes)
  • Sales Offers the price and period offer is for.
  • Delivery costs, method and lead times
  • Payment methods accepted
  • Cancellation information including cancellation form or method. (See Cancellation Rights below)
  • Substitute goods, if you provide substitutes and your terms on this
  • Digital content it’s functionality and compatibility. You must stipulate it cannot be cancelled once the download process has started

 

Consumers Cancellation Rights

Customers have the right to cancel a purchase within 14 calendar days of receiving goods. Note: A cooling off period extends to a maximum of three months and seven working days after delivery if the customer is not given written (‘durable’) confirmation of the required information, and written confirmation of their right to cancel.

This is a brief overview as guidance. For more information see https://www.gov.uk/online-and-distance-selling-for-businesses

 

Distance Selling Food

There are also regulations on distance selling foods mainly relating to the labelling of the food goods prior to shipping.

 

Food Product labelling

  • The name of the food *
  • Business name and address
  • Allergic ingredients in the food **
  • With Sugar or With Sweetner if applicable
  • Country of origin if the name or description implies it is from somewhere else
  • Best Before or Use By Date
  • Weight / Volume of the goods *
  • Alcoholic content in percentage if goods contain any alcohol *
  • The quantitative ingredients declaration (QUID) on products containing meat
  • List of ingredients
  • Certain ingredients will require more information.

 

*You must print all the mandatory information using a font with a minimum x-height of 1.2 millimetres.

** For more information on allergen labelling see https://www.food.gov.uk/science/allergy-intolerance/label

This is a brief overview as guidance. For more detailed information see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/food-labelling-giving-food-information-to-consumers#distance-selling

 

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