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New E-Commerce Law in Saudi Arabia

26 July 2019

The new law, which will be administered by the Ministry of Commerce & Investment (‘MOCI’), comes into effect in late October 2019, 90 days following its publication in the Official Gazette on 24 July 2019. The law is aimed at e-commerce service providers as well as other e-commerce practitioners (both within Saudi Arabia and outside) who are not registered with the Saudi Commercial Register. E-commerce practitioners who are located outside the Kingdom, but who offer goods and services to customers based in the Kingdom are subject to the law. The law is focused on consumer-protection related matters and applies to both people and businesses.
An online store must display the name and address of the e-commerce service provider, and, if applicable, its Commercial Registration number. The e-store must also display means of contacting the e-commerce service provider, such as an email address and contact number. It should also display the following:

• Information about the e-commerce service provide (includes name, address and commercial registration number)
• Basic characteristics of the subject goods or services and include information on any warranties;
• Total price, including all fees, taxes or additional amounts relating to delivery, if any
• How and when the contract will be concluded, as well as information on payment and delivery/performance

If an e-commerce service provider provides a regulated activity or profession, they are required to provide further information, including the identity of the relevant regulator, and details of their license or permit under that regulator. They are also required to submit to the customer an invoice showing the itemized cost of the purchase of the goods or services, fees, taxes, additional costs related to delivery (if any), and the total cost. The invoice should also show the date and time of delivery, and any other details that may be required (e.g. to comply with tax law or regulations). Further details may also be required subject to the regulations.

The Law sets certain minimum requirements for digital advertising by e-commerce service providers. Some of them include:• Information on the e-commerce service provider (presumably including the name and address of the e-commerce service provider, and, if applicable, its Commercial Registration number)
• Name of the subject goods or services
• Contact information of the e-commerce service provider.

The new law also protects the customer’s right to correct errors occurring during electronic transaction and to terminate the contract if the goods or services they have received is faulty or incomplete. It also aims to protect people’s data in a digital world and ensure ethical use of said data by e-commerce service providers.

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