New rules for e-commerce – habits to be changed… as well as websites!

On the occasion of the progressive implementation of the Code of Economic Law, the legislator has transposed into Belgian law certain rules from a European Directive on electronic commerce. Consumer protection is enhanced and obligations on businesses are strengthened.

Information to be disclosed to consumers are more important, including the capabilities of digital content, applicable technical protection measures, as well as any relevant interoperability.
The company must ensure that the consumer, when placing his order, can explicitly recognize that it implies an obligation to pay. If, placing an order, the consumer must activate a button or a similar function, the button or similar function must include the legible words “order with obligation to pay”.

The penalty for this omission is that the consumer is not bound by the contract or order.
The cooling-off period (period of time for cancelling the purchase), namely 14 days calendars, is increased by a 12-month period when the company fails to inform the consumer of his right of withdrawal. A model of withdrawal form must be made available to the consumer.

If the company uses default options for an additional payment to the agreed remuneration, the consumer is entitled to reimbursement of the amounts paid.

Please contact Didier CHAVAL ( and Guillaume RUE (  for more information.

Kind regards,