Management of the online orders and sales of products and services
 

Online trade is a phenomenon, gaining increasing popularity and gradually establishing itself along the traditional forms of trade. When trading goods and services in electronic environment, most of the rules, applicable also to the physical trade at retail sites, also apply. Тhere are, however, a number of additional rules, intended to limit abuse and protect consumers.

 

What information should be provided to the consumer?

If you trade online, you should know that the Electronic Commerce Act (ECA) obliges traders to provide unobstructed, direct and permanent access for consumers and competent authorities, to the following information:

  • Name of the company;
  • Registered office of the company;
  • The address, where the company exercises its activity, if different from the registered office;
  • Contact details, including telephone number and email address;
  • Data, regarding the registration with a commercial or another public register;
  • If company's activity is subject to control by a public authority – information regarding the authority, exercising such control;
  • If a regulated profession is exercised - information about the chamber, professional union or organization, where the trader is a member or registered;
  • Indication, if the company is registered under the Value Added Tax Act.

The trader shall inform the consumers1 in a clear, understandable and unambiguous manner of:

  • The steps for concluding a contract  in the online shop, including the moment, when the contract is considered concluded;
  • Whether or not the contract, concluded between the trader and the consumer will be kept by the trader and what would be the method of access to it;
  • Technical equipment for identification and correction of errors in the entered information (guidelines on changing already entered incorrect information, before signing the agreement – e.g., wrong delivery address or wrong telephone number);
  • The language(s) of the contract.

You, as the trader, agree to provide clear information also regarding the key characteristics of all the offered goods and services. When the trader indicates prices in his online shop, these have to be clearly and understandably marked. Тhe trader must also indicate, whether or not the respective prices include all payable taxes, fees and expenses, forming the final price – e.g., whether or not the price includes VAT, whether or not the price includes the delivery, etc. (art. 4, para. 2 of the ECA), as well as what are the payment methods. Clear information should also be provided, regarding the delivery method for the offered goods and the price of delivery, if it is not included in the total price of the offered products.

The trader must also provide the consumer with the general terms and conditions, applicable to the conclusion of the contracts, so that the consumer may keep and reproduce them. For more information regarding the general terms and conditions see here. Тhe contents of the concluded contract must also be provided in the same manner (art. 9 of the ECA).

 

What rules must be observed when selling goods/services online?

When selling goods/services online, if the buyer is a consumer, the rules, applicable to remotely signed contracts, stipulated for in art. 47-61 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) shall apply. For example, prior to concluding the contract, the trader shall provide the consumer, in a clear and understandable manner, with all the applicable information as per art. 47, para. 1 of the CPA, i.e. the key characteristics of the goods or services and their nature. For more information, please see the respective articles of the CPA.

If you are a consumer, involved in online trade, you are entitled to withdraw from the contract within 14 days, without specifying any reason for that, without having to pay any compensation or indemnity to the trade (art. 50 of the CPA)2.

If the consumer has exercised his right to withdraw from a remotely signed contract or from a contract, signed outside a retail site, the trader shall refund any and all amounts, received from the consumer, including all delivery costs, without undue delay and not later than 14 days, starting from the date of notification of consumer’s decision to withdraw from the contract (art. 54 of the CPA). Тhere are also certain limitations, applicable to the right to withdrawal from the contract – no withdrawal is permitted, if the nature of the goods purchased do not allow that (e.g., sound recordings, video recordings or computer software, newspapers, periodicals or magazines, custom-made goods or goods, made based on specific requests of the consumer).

 

Term

The goods, ordered online must be delivered to the consumer within 30 days after the order. Failing to do that, the consumer may withdraw from the contract and request refunding of the amounts paid.

 

It is forbidden to offer and sign contracts remotely for the sale of prescription medical products (art. 58, para. 1 of the CPA).

 

What are the rules for e-commerce within the European Union (EU)?

Traders, using online platforms for trading, must observe the rules, set out in the recently introduced Regulation 2018/302 (EU). Тhe objective of this regulation is to eliminate unjustified discriminatory limitation of clients’ access to online platforms, based on clients nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. Тhe Regulation is applicable in the cases, when the trader and the client are situated in different EU Member States (art. 1).

Please, note that traders are prohibited from blocking or limiting clients’ access from other Member States to their online shop for reasons, related to client’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. Traders may not redirect their clients to a version of their online shop, different from that, which such client wants to access, as the sole exception is the case, when the client has expressly given their consent to any such redirecting (art. 3). Тhe Regulation imposes the application of the same general terms and conditions for access to goods or services for clients, irrespective of their nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. Traders must apply the same conditions regarding eligible payment methods and payment operations (art. 5).

 

How to maintain information arrays with consumer/client data?

When carrying out e-commerce the trader collects and processes personal data of his consumers and clients. All personal data must be collected, processed and managed in conformity with the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation  (GDPR) and the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). For more information regarding personal data protection see here.

For more information

For more information

For more information on the applicable regulatory framework in this area, please visit the website of the Commission  for Protection of Competition.

 

1Consumers are natural persons, purchasing goods or using services, which are not intended for the performance of commercial or professional activity.

2The terms starts from the date of concluding the contract or the moment of receiving the goods, depending on the type of the contract and depending on whether or not the client was aware of the right to withdraw from the contract.

 
Write to us
Ministry of Economy
8, Slavyanska Str., Sofia 1052, Bulgaria
BULSTAT: BG176789453
phone: +359 2 940 7001

fax: +359 2 987 2190
 
Operational Programme This item is available only in Bulgarian
Contacts: 8, Slavyanska Str. Sofia 1000, Bulgaria tel: +359 2 940 7001 e-mail: e-docs@mi.government.bg
Follow us: Facebook Профил на Министерство на икономиката Twitter Профил на Министерство на икономиката