E-commerce law - what applies to you with an e-commerce business?
If you run your own online shop, it is important that you are aware of the Swedish e-commerce act and the requirements it places on you as an entrepreneur. At PostNord, we believe it should be easy to do the right thing - and that requires clear information. That's why we've put together a simple guide to what the e-commerce act is, when it applies and what you need to consider if you run an e-commerce business.
More articles on e-commerce can be found via our collection page e-commerce.
What is the e-commerce act?
Any company that sells any kind of product or service online is subject to the e-commerce act. The law specifies the obligations and responsibilities of online sellers towards their customers.
E-commerce law ensures consumer protection online
The e-commerce act (2002:562) is designed to ensure that consumers who buy products or services online are afforded the same protection as those who buy in physical shops. In particular, the law imposes requirements on the information and technical means that owners of online shops are obliged to provide to their customers.
Together with the Distance Contracts and Doorstep Selling Act, the Consumer Sales Act and the Consumer Credit Act, the e-commerce act contributes to safer online shopping - both when buying products and services.
What requirements does the e-commerce act impose on sellers?
The e-commerce law mainly concerns the obligations of a seller with regard to information and technical means in online sales.. If you sell services or products online, you must meet the following requirements:
Contact details and full pricing information on your website
- Provide clear information on prices - including any charges for shipping and taxes.
- Provide the name, company number and contact details of your company.
- Make sure the customer can download and save the terms and conditions that apply to a purchase in your online shop.
- Provide clear information on how to place an order and the terms and conditions of purchase, and offer technical solutions that allow the customer to modify, detect errors and delete an order before it is completed.
- Specify the languages in which orders can be placed and the currencies in which purchases can be made.
- Send out order confirmations without delay.
If you run your own online store or are launching a new online shop, it is important that you are aware of all the requirements that the e-commerce act imposes on you as a seller. E-retailers who do not meet the conditions specified in the law can be reported by consumers to the Swedish Consumer Agency.
When does the e-commerce act apply - and when does it not?
In addition to knowing what the e-commerce act is and what its requirements are, it is also important to know when it applies and when it does not apply.
The e-commerce act applies when a company sells physical products or services online and receives payment for them. Advertising-funded services and online marketing are also included. As a private individual, you are not covered by the law. For example, if you sell second-hand clothes or other products via online second-hand markets, you do not have to comply with the information and technical means requirements.
The law also does not apply to the processing of personal data online. Instead, there is the General Data Protection Regulation - also known as GDPR. Furthermore, the e-commerce act does not apply to the sale or brokerage of online lotteries or games where consumers can wager money.
E-commerce companies that do not comply with the law risk being reported
The Swedish Consumer Agency is the responsible supervisory authority that controls how well the various consumer laws in Sweden are followed - including the e-commerce act.
If a consumer discovers that an e-commerce company does not meet the requirements of the law, he or she can make a complaint to the Swedish Consumer Agency. The individual case will not be decided because a report is submitted, but reports from consumers are an important support for the Swedish Consumer Agency's work for safer online trade.
Read the full text of the law
The e-commerce act is a relatively concise law that currently contains 19 different sections. The language is contemporary and easy to read. On the Parliament's website you can read the e-commerce act in its entirety.
Discover PostNord's services for easier e-commerce
In addition to the requirements of the e-commerce act and other current consumer laws, e-commerce businesses also need to be aware of a number of other things to make their business work. At PostNord, we want to do what we can to make it easier to successfully sell products and services online - for small and large businesses alike.
As a business customer with us, you can use PostNord Portal Business to take advantage of smart features such as:
Integration solutions for e-tailers
Simplify shipping and logistics of goods to customers by integrating your e-commerce system with PostNord - for example via the order linking service.
Skicka Direkt Business
Buy trackable shipping directly online and print the waybills yourself or at a retailer.