Content requirements for the imprint in other eu countries

Content requirements for the imprint in other eu countries

To counteract the anonymity of the internet, the e-commerce directive was issued in 2000. It shall specify, among other things.a. Sets out certain information requirements in relation to the website operator – i.e. also for online retailers – but these differ between EU member states.

The e-commerce directive is a directive which only defines a minimum harmonization. This means that the member states were allowed and able to enact more far-reaching regulations. We have summarized the content requirements for a German imprint in another article.

Minimum requirements from the E-Commerce-RL

The E-Commerce Directive prescribes the following points as mandatory components of a provider’s imprint:

  • Name of the service provider
  • Geographical address at which the service provider is established
  • information enabling the service provider to be contacted quickly and communicated with directly and efficiently, including its e-mail address
  • if the service provider is entered in a commercial register or comparable public register, the commercial register in which the service provider is entered and its commercial register number or an equivalent identifier used in that register
  • if a license is required for the activity, the details of the competent supervisory authority
  • the sales tax identification number
  • regulated professions must also provide additional information, for example, about the chamber or the professional title

The information must be made easily, directly and permanently available to the user. This wording allows for different design options in different EU member states in terms of how the information is placed.

Content implementation in the countries

Austria: The Austrian Business Code stipulates that the civil name of a sole proprietorship must be stated if it differs from the company registered in the commercial register. If information is provided on the share capital, ordinary or. Share capital and amount if applicable. to make outstanding deposits.

UK: If the company capital is stated, it must be the paid-in capital.

France: Providing a telephone number for customer inquiries is mandatory in the imprint in France. A requirement that goes beyond the obligations of the E-Commerce Directive is, under French law, the indication of the name of the person responsible for the content of the website (Directeur de la publication). This always refers to a natural person who must be named. In addition, the name, address and telephone number of the Internet provider must be provided. Legal entities must provide information on the amount of the registered capital.

Spain: The fully harmonizing Consumer Rights Directive requires in all EU countries the naming of codes of conduct to which a trader has subscribed. This must be done before the order is placed. In Spain, however, it is obligatory to provide this information in the provider identification. Hereunder belongs the information about the electronic access to the code of conduct.

Poland: The E-Commerce Directive has been implemented in Poland without any deviations. However, the naming of the authorized representative for legal entities is an obligation that results from national legislation. The authorized representative does not have to be named in the provider identification, a reference in the general terms and conditions is also sufficient.

Italy: For individual legal forms such as the S.p.a, S.a.p.a and S.r.l must be informed about the paid-in share capital.

Netherlands: If the store uses a trade name that is not identical to the name registered in the commercial register, information must be provided about the company to which the trade name belongs.

For all countries, since January of this year, a link to the OS platform must be provided in an easily accessible manner. The imprint is suitable for this purpose.

Country of domicile principle vs. Market integration

In principle, the country of domicile principle applies to provider identification. This means that the law of the country in which the merchant has its registered office applies. Consequently, German merchants must comply with the provisions of the TMG as well as the BGB and EGBGB.

In the context of internationalization, however, it is worth thinking about how you want to be perceived in the new market: As a German online store or as an integrated market player? For the latter, it makes sense to adopt the national customs and legal requirements of the target market in the own store, so as not to stand out as "different".

Successful internationalization requires more adaptation than mere translation. Consumers will trust you more if they find familiar store structures and information and feel "at home" in your store.

Seek support to make your online store fit for internationalization? Contact us, we will be happy to advise you. (na)

About Naveen Aricatt

Legal Expert UK of Trusted Shops GmbH and in this function responsible for English law. She studied International Business Law and Business Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. She has been working for Trusted Shops since 2009 – first as an auditor for Germany, then also for France and Great Britain. In 2013, she completed a master’s degree in law at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of the English Trusted Shops handbook for online retailers and regularly writes legal articles for the Trusted Shops UK blog, as well as specialist articles on e-commerce law in the UK.

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