New Regulations for Online Sellers
Consumer Affairs Act Gazatte

New Regulations for Online Sellers Consumer Affairs Act Gazatte

The Consumer Affairs Authority has issued an Extraordinary Gazette notification No. 2332/15 by virtue of the powers vested under Section 10(1) (b) (ii) on 17th May 2023 for the protection of the consumer that any e-commerce entity or platform operator engages in marketing and selling of any goods on digital platform in Sri Lanka.

The Gazette defines “e-commerce” as, the business activities of the sale of goods, services or digital content through the Internet or other information network.

Further, it defines “Platform” as a digital or electronic network that enables the sellers operating on the platform to conduct and e-commerce through a such digital or electronic network by allowing consumers to connect with sellers operating on platforms to purchase goods, services, or digital content on such digital/electronic network.

The Gazette notification set out conditions where the e-commerce entities or platform operators should comply when engaging in marketing and selling of goods under the three stages of a transaction such as; pre-purchase stage, purchase stage and post purchase stage.

During the Pre-purchase stage, the e-commerce entities or platform operators are required to conduct fair business, advertising, and marketing practices. When advertising any goods, shall not make any representation or omission or engage in any practice deceptive, misleading, or anti-competitive.

Further it mandates the e-commerce entities and platform operators to have a fair and transparent rating and review mechanism for collecting and publishing of consumers. And transparency of information. Moreover, all e-commerce entity and platform operators have to send a privacy statement to consumers when obtaining their personal data.

During the purchase stage the order confirmation shall provide the consumers with an opportunity to review a summary of the order prior to order confirmation. Further the gazette provides regulations relating to the transparency of the transaction. For example, a receipt should be issued including the price, method of payment, terms and conditions relating to the delivery of the goods, privacy policy and etc. Further the gazette refers to a cooling off periods and right of cancellation of orders.

During the post purchase stage, the e-commerce entity and platform operators are required to sell goods subject to implies warranties based on “fair value for money spent.” Further the e-commerce entity or platform are required to assist on the product safety.

Gazette came into effect from 17th May 2023.