Keywords: electronic commerce, Consumer Protection Code, consumer demands

President Dilma Rousseff published, on March 15, Decree 7,962/2013, which establishes specific rules applicable to electronic commerce in Brazil. The decree was approved as a regulation of the Consumer's Protection Code (Law 8,078/90), which was not up to date with online technology for the acquisition of products and services.

The decree has brought some important innovations. According to the new rules, suppliers shall expressly inform in the websites their names, taxpayer registration numbers, physical and electronic addresses, as well as all essential information about the products or services offered, including any eventual charge or restriction applied to the offer.

The decree also imposes on suppliers other rules applicable to electronic commerce, including:

  • obligation to present to consumers a summary of the contract prior to concluding the acquisition;
  • obligation to promptly confirm receipt of acceptance of the offer and other consumers' demands;
  • obligation to keep an adequate and effective service for answering consumer demands, and to submit an answer within a maximum period of five days; and
  • obligation to ensure the right of regret through the same form used by the consumer to contract the service or product and to promptly inform the use of such right to the applicable financial institution, so as to avoid any charge or to ensure prompt reimbursement. The right of regret was established by article 49 of the Consumers' Protection Code, which allows the cancellation of acquisitions made outside commercial establishments within seven days counted as from acquisition or receipt of product or service.

With respect to group buying websites, the decree also requests information regarding the minimum quantity of consumers required for the sale, the period for use of the offer, as well as identification of the supplier responsible for the website and the supplier responsible for the offered product or service.

Simultaneously with Decree 7,962/2013, President Dilma also published Decree 7,963/2013, which established the National Consuming and Citizenship Plan, whose purpose is to integrate policies, programs and actions to promote and protect the consumer defense in the country. Although the plan has not brought any concrete changes to the current legislation, the expectation is that it will improve and make the compliance of the rules concerning consumers' defense and protection more strict and effective.

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This article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.