Saudi ministry refers 200 online stores to e-commerce violations committee

RIYADH — The Saudi Ministry of Commerce has referred 200 online stores to the e-commerce violations committee to impose legal sanctions on them.

The ministry referred the online stores for violating e-commerce reliability compliance standards.

This decision aims to improve the reliability of e-commerce transactions and to monitor violations before they occur for consumers, in addition to protecting and preserving the rights of the online buyer to create a fair trading environment.

The ministry explained that the monitoring process included several online stores, including large, medium and small ones that sell many different products such as electronics, cosmetics, furniture and others.

The Electronic Commerce Council has announced the obligation for e-shops to implement 13 standards that they must provide for reliability in e-commerce, which are:

1 – Contact phone number.

2 – Email.

3 – Instant chat.

4 – Reliable electronic payment functionality must be provided through an approved banking channel.

5 – It is necessary to allow the consumer to file a complaint on the store’s website.

6 – Allow consumers to file a complaint via social networks.

7 – E-shops must disclose the exact deadline for responding to consumer complaints.

8 – It is necessary to disclose the exact processing time of the complaint submitted.

9 – Online stores must disclose the exact delivery time before completing the purchase process and indicate it on the invoice.

10 – Online stores must provide Arabic language in the complaint mechanism.

11 – The use of Arabic language in instant chats is important to communicate with consumers.

12 – Product labels must be displayed in Arabic.

13 – E-shops must provide a clear and written policy for exchanges and returns.

The Ministry of Commerce noted that the e-commerce system and its implementing regulations provide for the following penalties for shop violations:

1 – A fine of up to SR 1 million.

2 – Block and close the site that committed the violation.

3 – Prohibition to exercise the activity.

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