The field of e-commerce in Cyprus is regulated by the Law on Certain Legal Aspects of Information Society Services, in Particular Electronic Commerce and Associated Matters of 2004, Law 156(I)/2004 (The Electronic Commerce Law). The Law was enacted on 30 April 2004 for the purpose of implementing Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce in the Internal Market.
The Electronic Commerce Law aims at ensuring the free movement of information society services between the Republic of Cyprus and the Member States of the European Union relating to the establishment of service providers, commercial communications, codes of conduct, the conclusion of electronic contracts, the liability of intermediaries, out-of-court dispute settlements, means of legal protection and the cooperation between each Member State.
The law also provides legal certainty for business and consumers alike. It establishes regulations on issues such as the transparency and information requirements for online service providers, electronic contracts, commercial communications, and limitations of liability of intermediary service providers.
A few examples of such services covered by the Law include online information services (online newspapers and magazines), online selling of services and products such as financial services, books and travel services, online advertising, professional services including doctors, lawyers, doctors, and estate agents, entertainment services and basic intermediary services (access to the Internet and transmission and hosting of information). These services include also services which are provided free of charge to the recipient and funded, for example, by various advertising campaigns or sponsorships.
Electronic Commerce Legal Services
Today, electronic means play an important role in our everyday life, as a lot of transactions are carried forward daily by online consumers through the internet. In numerous occasions, online consumers have complained about the bad experiences they have had while purchasing goods online, whilst website owners try to exclude themselves from any liability by inserting small lettered exclusion clauses on their websites. Use of the internet as a method of carrying out e commerce activities is widespread in Cyprus and an increasing number of people and businesses are coming to appreciate the benefits of using Cyprus, a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, as a basis for establishing local and international business companies (formerly known as offshore companies) for the purposes of carrying out such activities.
It is extremely important for website owners to be aware of internet legislation, particularly since they are trading and operating within the EU and many times internationally. That is why they have to include on their websites specific and complete information about their products and services, their delivery methods, their payment options etc. The online consumer has rights and EU law is making sure to provide them with those rights.
Our Firm’s lawyers in our e-business law team specialize in all areas of Cyprus law which are relevant to e-business such as all IT aspects, electronic signatures, regulation of electronic payments, data protection and security, direct marketing and intellectual property as well as consumer protection issues including the unfair contract terms in consumer contracts, sale of goods, unfair trade practices, long distance contracts and rights and obligations under electronic contracts, product safety and liability and consumer warranties. They can provide website owners careful legal advice and provide them with all the legal documents they will have to display on their websites, such as the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policies and Disclaimer documents. As also mentioned above, Data Protection, Copyrights and Trademark registering are extremely important as well, not only in terms of their corporate ID but also in order to comply with the law.