If you want to know which are the legal requirements for ecommerce in Italy and being compliant with italian laws please read this article.
Before spelling out the legal requirements for ecommerce in Italy, let’s say that in Italy revenue generated by e-commerce is expected to show an annual growth rate of 7.3%, resulting in a market volume of €21,385m by 2024. The purchase of goods and services online is undergoing a positive trend that pushed the European institutions to intervene by approving a series of measures to protect the transparency and safety of consumers.
There are many substantial legal requirements for selling online in Italy. Directive 2000/31 / EC, implemented through legislative decree n. 70 of 2003, mandates a series of requirements for e-commerce operators, including:
When operating an e-commerce website, provide clear and concise information on the characteristics of the products or services.
In case of products, clearly indicate the shipping and packaging costs.
Specify whether VAT is included in the final price.
Clearly indicate that consumer can unilaterally cancel his order within 14 days after the receipt of the purchased good or from the conclusion of the contract in case of services and explain how to exercise his/her withdrawal right. Do not forget to report in the terms and conditions of sale consumer’s right to obtain a refund of the amount paid in case of cancellation of the order.
Indicate the legal guarantees applicable to products that present a lack of conformity.
Failure or unsuitable information is punished with heavy fines. Any processing for marketing purposes requires consent, which can be obtained by means of a check box to be marked at the end of the purchase process.
The Data Protection Authority, defined a cookie as “small text strings that the sites visited by the user send to his terminal (usually to the browser), where they are stored and then retransmitted to the same sites on the next visit by the same user”. Remember to upload an adequate cookies policy on your website, which explains which cookies will be installed, if they are installed directly by the owner of the site or by third parties, if they are permanent or session cookies, what information regarding users is acquired and how users can remove them. If you use third-party analytical cookies, remember to take measures to reduce their identification power. Not all providers allow these operations unlike Google Analytics which instead allows both the masking of the IP address of visitors and to disable some functions that would allow Google to cross the data obtained through cookies with other data already in its possession. If you use third-party analytical cookies without taking the aforementioned measures, you ask users’ permission before installing them. Do not install profiling cookies on the user’s terminal until he has given his consent. Place the banner if you use tracking/profiling cookies.
One of the legal requirements for ecommerce is that you must always be identifiable. If the website is owned by a company, remember to indicate: Company name, registered office, VAT number, registration number in the register of companies, share capital, contact information;
If you have any queries about legal requirements for ecommerce in Italy and need legal advice, do not hesitate to contact me.
I am a qualified lawyer specialized on IT law and data protection. I have served as legal advisor for several companies both in Italy and abroad. My expertise includes information technology contracts such as software as a service as well as cloud, e-commerce and digital marketplaces. I advise on legal matters relating to Data Privacy, Data Protection, Consumer Law and Contract Law. I am a member of the Italian Bar Association.