License a must to run businesses, ministries tell e-stores
The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) emphasized that e-stores that want to sell products online legally must apply for a registration certificate from the Ministry of Commerce or a freelance license from the Freelance Platform, which is run by MHRSD.
Both the ministries stressed that stores must comply with e-commerce requirements and the provisions of the E-Commerce Law so as to protect consumer rights.
The E-Commerce Council underscored the importance of applying for a business registration certificate for individuals who are engaged in e-commerce activities in order for them to continue practicing legally.
While underlining the need to respect consumer rights, the council stated that business registration certificates could be issued electronically. If the applicant’s business activity necessitates a license from another government entity, the applicant must meet those requirements as well.
The council emphasized that this step is intended to increase the trustworthiness of e-commerce transactions, as well as to defend consumer and merchant rights, besides eliminating counterfeit businesses.
The Ministry of Commerce has recently discovered cases of non-compliance and violation of consumer rights, apart from fraudulent practices perpetrated by some stores run by individuals who do not have a registration certificate.
According to the council, the stores that have received a registration certificate must implement the following 13 standards of reliability in e-commerce, namely: 1- Have a contact number for communication; 2- Have an email; 3- Provide a chat option.
It must also have: 4- Provide secure electronic payment through official banking channels; 5- Enable the consumer to lodge a complaint online; 6- Enable the consumer to lodge a complaint via social media; 7- Disclose the exact time to respond to a complaint.
In addition: 8 - Disclose the exact time for processing a complaint; 9 -Disclose the exact time of delivery before completing the purchase and indicate this information in the invoice; 10- The store supports the Arabic language as an option for filing a complaint; 11 -Use Arabic in chat; 12- Display products in Arabic and 13 -Have a clear and written return or refund policy.