An overview of the latest legal developments in online retailing in recent years

There are several legal developments in online commerce that are currently relevant. Some examples are:

New EU consumer protection regulations: In May 2022, a new EU regulation will come into force that will give consumers uniform information rights in online commerce. This regulation, known as the “Omnibus Regulation,” includes changes related to the indication of prices, merchants’ information obligations, and the right of withdrawal.

General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO): The DSGVO has been in force since May 2018 and also affects online retail. Merchants must ensure that they comply with data protection regulations when collecting and processing personal data from customers.

Copyright: Copyright can play a role in online commerce, especially when it comes to the use of images and text. Merchants must ensure that they have the necessary rights to use or share content.

VAT: Merchants selling goods to other EU countries have to calculate and pay the VAT of the country to which the goods are delivered since July 1, 2021. This regulation particularly affects small and medium-sized enterprises, which were previously exempt from VAT.

Electronic commerce: In December 2020, the EU Commission presented a proposal for a new directive on electronic commerce, which provides for harmonization of the rules for electronic commerce within the EU. The aim is to remove barriers to cross-border e-commerce and strengthen consumer protection.

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