Global e-Commerce revenue should surpass $5 trillion by the end of the year, propelling the online shopping sector to previously unseen levels. One of the side effects of this success is increased scrutiny in the form of compliance. As more people shop online, nefarious actors will seek to exploit them, and operators. This makes regulators increase the rules to protect the entire ecosystem.
Looking to the future, there are three key bits of legislation around the corner that could impact your e-Commerce business. Whether you are already established or considering starting up, these are the changes coming your way.
Asides from the GDPR, the EU is also poised to approve the ePrivacy Regulation (EPR). This package will provide for more robust privacy and protection for digital communications. Provisions include cookie regulation, greater privacy controls through consent, and limits on what data can be saved and how. The proposal has been welcomed by several EU e-Commerce bodies, including eCommerce Europe. They said that safe electronic communication is crucial for their sector and further growth. However, they also noted that cookies should be allowed so they can provide custom-made experiences for users, something they demand. While it is unlikely the regulation will enter into force this year, it is worth keeping an eye on. Getting up to speed on how it could impact your operations will give you plenty of time to prepare.
Meanwhile, European authorities intend to step up the crackdown on GDPR violations after a sluggish start. The bloc’s major data privacy regulation, which applies to any company with EU customers, has so far not resulted in many fines. While many violations have been reported, there has been a grace period for companies involved. This soft approach will likely disappear in 2022.
The EU has proposed two new pieces of legislation that are set to change the way the internet works. The Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) will make their way into law by the end of 2022. They will completely overhaul all existing rules that govern the online sphere in the EU, including e-Commerce. The Commission has been clear that the packages will create a safer online space for consumers. Additionally, they aim to level the playing field so smaller, innovative businesses thrive. For e-Commerce, the new laws will make companies more accountable, increase consumer protections, and enhance competitiveness across the board. It will also mean more choice and decreased exposure to illegal, harmful, or dangerous content for users.
The DSA will apply to online marketplaces, even if they are not established in the EU but have EU-based customers. Operators will have to vet third-party suppliers, report on transparency, have local representatives, and provide ways to flag illegal goods. In addition, the way companies can target consumers for advertising and how they report criminal offences will change.
But these are just some of the changes. The DMA and DSA are a big step up from the EU’s previous e-Commerce Directive. This will make getting compliant a challenge for many. With many rules to understand and consider, working with a professional to ensure maximum adherence will be necessary.
Fast Offshore has worked in e-commerce for many years, assisting multiple companies to get started. We can assist with corporate matters such as incorporation, compliance, payments, structuring, and ongoing maintenance. Don’t leave it until the last minute, contact Fast Offshore today to find out more.
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