Legal & Tax Alerts

New obligations for online businesses

On 11 December 2023, Order No 225/2023 on providing information to consumers by economic operators carrying out activities online (“Order 225/2023”), issued by the President of the National Authority for Consumer Protection (in Romanian: Autoritatea Nationala pentru Protectia Consumatorilor –ANPC”), was published in the Official Gazette of Romania.

Order 225/2023 will enter into force within 45 days as of its publication in the Official Gazette, i.e., from 25 January 2024.

Who is it aimed at?

The new obligations established by Order 225/2023, are applicable in B2C (business-to-consumer) relations, being addressed to economic operators which:

(i) carry out the activity of online trading/ provision of services; or
(ii) manage or are present on pages for sales, online order taking and/or advertising of products and/or services, tourist services, package tours or airline tickets trading, including e-commerce.

New obligations

These operators will be obliged to inform consumers about the legality of their activity, by displaying the following information:

the name of the respective legal entity;
 the sole registration code;
 the number in the relevant register of legal entities, showing the line(s) of business;
 the address of the registered office and/or place of business where it actually carries out its activities;
 the series and number of all authorisations, approvals, certificates, attestations, licences required for carrying out the activity, and their issuer.

The Order stipulates that the documents containing the above information must be placed in the consumer’s field of vision, at the first contact with the presentation of the economic operator, before the order is placed, so that the information is easily identifiable.

At the same time, these documents must not be obscured by other written, photographic or searchable materials.

Sanctions

If economic operators refuse to display the information on the legality of the activity carried out, they may be sanctioned by delisting from the sales page, at the request of ANPC.

These new obligations are closely linked to the general information obligations incumbent on all economic operators, set out by Government Ordinance No 21/1992 on consumer protection (“GO 21/1992”), and therefore it cannot be ruled out for ANPC to apply other sanctions amongst those provided by GO 21/1992 to the operators concerned by Order 225/2023 in case of refusal to display the aforementioned information.

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