E-Commerce Compliance

E-commerce is online buying and selling via websites, apps, or platforms like WhatsApp. It's surged during Covid-19 as the safest way to trade and grow.
In short, electronic commerce or “e-commerce” is the selling and buying of goods or services over the internet either from a website and or mobile apps or even WhatsApp. The most common type of e-commerce is online shopping for retail, food or even services. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent trading restrictions imposed, e-commerce has become the safest and most effective way to trade and to grow.

Are there any legal requirements for E-commerce?

Yes, a legal foundation for e-commerce is paramount. The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (“ECTA”) is the primary legislation regulating e-commerce in South Africa. It regulates where, when and how legal contracts are concluded and even imposes obligations on payment systems. The Protection of Personal Information Act (“POPI”) ensures the lawful processing of personal information. It dictates how one may collect names, addresses, bank accounts particulars and how personal information must be processed. The Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) can also have far reaching implications for small and large businesses. E-businesses have to promote recognised consumer rights and comply with the provisions of the CPA which can be encumbering on suppliers. In addition to the above statutory requirements, e-businesses must consider the validity, legal effect and enforceability of transactions, intellectual property rights, authentication, and jurisdiction and liability issues.

What if I don’t comply with legislation?

It is a crime. Some statutes make provisions for fines of up to R10 million and even a jail sentence of up to 10 years, depending on the seriousness of the offence. This of course excludes the unquantifiable reputational damages that would be done to the e-business.

Are you ECT, CPA and POPI compliant?

In an effort to assist businesses to survive and thrive in this era of uncertainty, whilst protecting consumer rights and business reputation, BLV has developed an affordable legal solution available to all.