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New Rules For Online Merchants

The implications of new EU consumer legislation for online traders are detailed in a selling guide just launched by Dublin Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the European Consumer Centre Ireland.

The guide aims to get SMEs up to speed with EU legislation and is called 'Top 10 Tips for Selling Online'. It outlines key issues such as privacy statements, terms and conditions, withdrawal periods and product quality, and will allow Irish firms to comply with the new EU Directive 2011/83/EU on consumer rights, which comes into force tomorrow.

The new EU guidelines include changes aimed at increasing price transparency, a ban on pre-ticked boxes on websites, improved refund rights for consumers and clearer information on who pays for returning goods.

According to Gina Quin, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, the guide will help ensure that businesses trading online will remain on the right side of the consumer laws, while also encouraging more Irish firms to consider a move to online selling.

She adds: “Around three quarters of Irish companies have a website, but just 22% of Irish SMEs are currently trading online. Three out of every four euro spent online in Ireland goes to e-commerce sites based outside of Ireland, which represents a huge loss to the Irish exchequer, particularly with online spending forecast to grow to €13bn by 2020.”

The guide was compiled by the Enterprise Europe Network at Dublin Chamber of Commerce and ECC Ireland and can be downloaded here: http://een-ireland.ie/eei/assets/documents/uploaded/general/SellingOnline-2014.pdf. (September 2014)

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