E-commerceDownload PDF version
The regulation on e-commerce activities under Danish law has significant relevance as the level of e-commerce activity has evolved rapidly during the past few years, both in Denmark and abroad. Thus, prior to initiating marketing and sale activities online, an e-trader should carefully examine whether such activities are in compliance with the relevant applicable national or foreign legislation.
How is E-commerce regulated under Danish Law?
There are several acts and executive orders under Danish law which regulate the area of e-commerce. The most important acts are:
What are the Key Characteristics of the Danish E-Commerce Act?
The Act constitutes Denmark’s primary legal framework governing e-commerce and applies to all services in the information society, defined as any service which has a commercial purpose and is delivered online at an individual's request. The main principle of the Act is that businesses offering information society services, i.e. commercial services delivered online, are subject to domestic control. Accordingly, an information society service supplied by an e-trader established in Denmark must be operated in accordance with Danish law within the coordinated area. This applies even if the service is entirely directed towards another country within the European Union or the European Economic Area. In the same way, an e-trader established in another country within the European Union or the European Economic Area who supplies an information society service is exempt from compliance with Danish regulations within the coordinated area due to the principle of mutual recognition. This is true even if the service is directed towards Denmark.
Does the Danish E-Commerce Act impose any Duties on E-traders?
The Danish E-Commerce Act complements the general rules and principles of Danish law relating to the sale of goods and services.
The Danish E-Commerce Act contains certain minimum requirements regarding an e-trader’s conduct of e-business. For instance, the e-trader is obligated to inform users about a number of specific details relating to the e-trader’s business, such as the e-trader’s name, place of business, email address, Danish CVR no. (Central Business Registration number) etc. Furthermore, the e-trader must provide sufficient information relating to price, identification of commercial communication, technical help functions (e.g. accessibility to contract terms and general conditions), order confirmation receipt etc.
In addition to these rules, the Act comprises a number of provisions which exempt internet providers from liability regarding intellectual property right infringements relating to the mere conduit, caching and hosting of material, provided that certain specific conditions are met.
What are the Main Characteristics of the Danish Act on Certain Consumer Contracts?
The Danish Act on Certain Consumer Contracts governs Danish business-to-consumer contracts as it regulates specific terms of contracts in online transactions as well as distance selling in general. The Act divides goods and services into three categories: (i) goods; (ii) non-financial services; and (iii) financial services. These three categories are subject to different regulation under the Act.
Are there any special Requirements regarding an E-trader’s Duty of Disclosure vis-à-vis Consumers?
Pursuant to the Danish Act on Certain Consumer Contracts, the e-trader has a duty to provide consumers with certain information in connection with distance contracts prior to concluding a contract. The scope of the information obligation varies depending on which category of goods and/or services the purchase relates to, but may include information such as the e-trader’s name, principal business activity and physical address; the nature and main characteristics of the product or service; the total price of the product or service, including fees, costs, any delivery costs, VAT and other taxes; the terms of payment, delivery or other performance of the contract; whether a right of complaint or withdrawal exists; and any specific additional costs for the consumer in connection with the use of the means of communication in question if such additional costs are imposed.
Does the Consumer have a Right to withdraw from a Contract which has been entered into online?
Pursuant to the Danish Act on Certain Consumer Contracts, a consumer is in many cases granted a 14 day right of withdrawal or ”cooling-off period”, as long as the purchase has taken place online or as a distance selling. However, among other things, hotel reservations, airplane tickets and gambling are not covered by the 14-day right of withdrawal. If the consumer has been duly notified of the cooling-off period by the e-trader, for purchase of e.g. goods, the cooling-off period starts at delivery. If the consumer has not been duly notified of the cooling-off period, the cooling-off period starts at the time when the consumer has been duly notified of the cooling-off period.
The above does not constitute legal counselling and Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen does not warrant the accuracy of the information. With the above text, Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen has not assumed responsibility of any kind as a consequence of a reader’s use of the above.