E-commerce Law in Cyprus
E-commerce has altered how customers connect with businesses. Understanding the regulatory system that oversees people who trade online is essential, given the rising number of customers who are migrating to online purchasing and the uncertainty about the potential effects of Covid-19 on the high street.
It really is crucial that you seek legal advice from lawyers who are aware of how e-commerce regulations may impact your company and the potential repercussions of making mistakes.
E-commerce in Cyprus is regulated by the Electronic Commerce Law (156(I)/2004) which entered into force on the 30 April 2004 for the purpose of the implementation of Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
This directive provides for a safe and predictable legal environment for businesses operating within the EU, and establishes a framework for the regulation of commercial communications, the protection of personal data, and the liability of intermediaries for third-party content. Additionally, Cyprus has also enacted its own national legislation, such as the “Protection of Personal Data Law” which supplements the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and governs the collection, use, and storage of personal data.
The E-Commerce Directive in Cyprus, which was transposed into national law in 2004, applies to all forms of electronic commerce, including the sale of goods and services, the provision of information society services, and the conclusion of distance contracts. The directive sets out the rules for the registration and identification of service providers, the provision of information to consumers, and the protection of consumer rights. For example, under the directive, e-commerce businesses must provide clear and comprehensive information about their products or services, including the total price, any additional costs such as delivery charges, and the terms and conditions of the contract.
The Directive also provides for the liability of intermediaries, such as online marketplaces, for third-party content. These intermediaries are not held liable for third-party content as long as they do not have actual knowledge of the illegal activity or information and, as soon as they acquire such knowledge, they act expeditiously to remove or to disable access to the information.
Cyprus has also enacted the “Protection of Personal Data Law” which supplements the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and governs the collection, use, and storage of personal data. This law applies to all companies operating in Cyprus, regardless of whether they are based in Cyprus or not, and applies to the processing of personal data by both public and private sector organisations. It requires organisations to obtain the explicit consent of individuals before collecting and processing their personal data, and to ensure that such data is accurate, kept up-to-date, and stored in a secure manner.
In addition to the E-Commerce Directive and the “Protection of Personal Data Law”, Cyprus has also enacted other legislation that applies to e-commerce businesses. For example, the “Consumer Protection Law” provides consumers with specific rights and protections when purchasing goods and services online. This law sets out the rules for the provision of pre-contractual information, the right of withdrawal, and the protection of consumer rights in case of non-conformity of goods.
The “Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services Law” applies to the distance marketing of consumer financial services, such as credit agreements and insurance contracts. This law sets out the rules for the provision of pre-contractual information, the right of withdrawal, and the protection of consumer rights in case of non-conformity of services.
Cyprus has also implemented the “Payment Services Law”, which regulates the provision of payment services. This law sets out the rules for the authorisation and supervision of payment service providers, and provides for the protection of consumer rights, such as the right to a refund in case of unauthorised transactions.
In addition to these laws, e-commerce businesses operating in Cyprus must also comply with other laws and regulations, such as those governing advertising, competition, consumer protection, and intellectual property.
In summary, Cyprus has implemented a comprehensive legal framework for e-commerce that includes the EU’s E-Commerce Directive, national legislation such as the “Protection of Personal Data Law”, “Consumer Protection Law”, “Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services Law” and “Payment Services Law” and other laws and regulations, such as those governing advertising, competition, consumer protection, and intellectual property. This legal framework provides a safe and predictable environment for e-commerce businesses and protects the rights of consumers.
Chambers & Co, can advise on setting up an e-commerce business that is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
We offer advice on:
- GDPR and personal data related issues.
- Cybersecurity and data security.
- Regulation of electronic payments.
- Online advertising and marketing issues.
- Online trade of products and services.
- Consumer warranties.
- Terms and conditions of e-commerce businesses.
- Privacy and cookies policies.
- Software licensing agreements.
- Cross-border taxation and Vat requirements and implications.
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