Amendments to the Act on Electronic Commerce and a new Act on Trade

August 27, 2019

Amendments to the Act on Electronic Commerce and a new Act on Trade

August 27, 2019

Miloš Velimirović

Miloš Velimirović

Partner

Milan Novakov

Milan Novakov

Senior Associate

On 22 July 2019, the Serbian National Parliament adopted a new Act on Trade (‘’Official Gazette of RS’’ No. 52/2019 – hereinafter the “Act on Trade”) and the amendments to the Act on Electronic Commerce (‘’Official Gazette of RS’’ No. 52 – hereinafter the “Act on Electronic Commerce”). The provisions of the new Act on Trade and amendments to the Act on Electronic Commerce are applicable as of 30 July 2019.

The new Act on Trade regulates the status of foreign entities operating on the Serbian market, labeling of products and indication of price. The provisions regarding foreign entities are imposed as an extension to remote commerce, comprehensively regulating status of non-resident entities performing remote commerce to Serbian consumers as the target. These entities will now be subject to Serbian legislation if their target consumers are from Serbia, which is upheld if their prices are indicated in Serbian dinars and if the trader offers to ship to Serbia.

The labeling of the products is regulated in a more precise and unambiguous way, with continuous availability of information in the Serbian language with regards to the purchase. Consequently, the price indication is to be made in Serbian dinars, and the price of products is now made more understandable to customers, with the inclusion of VAT and other expenses in the total sum. Additionally, the Act governs in detail the matter of seasonal sales, including the timing, duration, restrictions, and percentages.

The amendments to the Act on Electronic Commerce serve a purpose of modernizing and enhancing the Serbian commerce, with a specific highlight on the electronic trade, and catching up with the EU legislation by coordinating the national trade process with the most advanced models in the world.

Additionally, the amended Act on Electronic Commerce now includes new models, such as e-commerce conducted via webshop; commerce conducted via an electronic platform which connects consumers and salespersons, but often provides payment and delivery services itself; and drop shipping, which enables the consumers to order products or services through a webshop or electronic platform, while receiving such products or services from manufacturers or wholesalers directly. Furthermore, the Act prescribes that all documents concluded electronically cannot be contested validity only for the manner of their conclusion, which is a big improvement and a booster for electronic commerce.

Moreover, a novelty in the form of a mystery shopper, aids inspectors in discovering dubious acts. In case of a suspicion that commerce is being conducted by a non-registered entity or without the issuance of invoices, an inspector may approach the defaulting subject disguised as the consumer, and determine the irregularities.

Bearing all in mind, with a contemporary approach to electronic commerce and trade in general, the amendments will bring the national commerce a step further to the EU standard. The gaps and defaults, on the other hand, will surface through practice, if the level of coordination displays as insufficient.

This text is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact us.

Contact:

Miloš Velimirović , Partner
milos.velimirovic@sog.rs

Milan Novakov, Senior Associate
milan.novakov@sog.rs

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