New legal obligations for online traders

Laptop and smart phonesUK businesses that sell goods or services to consumers online have until 15 February 2016 to implement changes or risk enforcement action.

The new requirements, which have been introduced by an EU Regulation, mean that online traders established in the EU must provide an accessible electronic link from their website to a new Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform and must also include their email address on their website. This obligation also applies to offer emails that relate to a consumer sales or service contract. Where applicable, traders must also provide relevant information about the ODR platform in the terms and conditions that relate to their online sales and service contracts.

Although the wording of the regulation suggests that businesses must comply by 9 January 2015, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has indicated that this deadline has effectively been extended until 15 February 2016. BIS confirmed that: ‘There will of course be no question of enforcement action before 15 February’.

The ODR platform is designed to facilitate the resolution of consumer disputes across the EU, providing an easier, faster and cost-effective alternative to court action.

Are your website and terms and conditions compliant?

Businesses that sell goods or services to consumers online should seek an urgent review of their website, any related terms and conditions and other materials being used for online sales.

To book a review contact Corporate Gaby Hardwicke Partner Mark Williams at or Associate Solicitor Gemma Ritchie at or call them on 01323 435 900.

Posted: 13 January 2016

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