Frequently Asked Questions
What is Electronic Commerce (E-commerce)?
What is the definition of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?
What is the "De Minimis Rule"?
What are the minimum information requirements (legal obligations)that the online trader (service provider) should provide to users in a website or an eshop?
1. What is Electronic Commerce (E-commerce)?
E-commerce is trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. The concept of ecommerce is covering any business transaction executed electronically between parties such as companies (business-to-business), companies and consumers (business-to-consumer), consumers and consumers, business and the public sector, and between consumers and the public sector.
2. What is the definition of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?
According to the Commission recommendation (2003/361/EC) of 06 May 2003, on the definition of "Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises" are defined according to their staff headcount and turnover or annual balance-sheet total. A medium-sized enterprise is defined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 250 persons and whose annual turnover does not exceed EUR 50 million or whose annual balance-sheet total does not exceed EUR 43 million. For more information please
3. What is the "De Minimis Rule"?
Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex-Article 88(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC)) requires state aid to be notified to the European Commission so that it can assess whether the aid is compatible with the common market in the light of Article 107(1) TFEU (ex-Article 87(1) TEC). However, under Regulation (EC) No 994/98 certain categories of aid can be exempted from the notification requirement. The de minimis rule was introduced in order to exempt small aid amounts. It sets a ceiling below which aid is deemed not to fall within the scope of Article 107(1) TFEU and is therefore exempt from the notification requirement laid down in Article 108(3) TFEU. Aid of no more than EUR 200 000 granted over a period of three years is not regarded as state aid within the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. A specific ceiling of EUR 100 000 applies to road transport. The three-year period corresponds to three financial years. The ceiling, set initially at EUR 100 000 in Regulation (EC) No 69/2001, has thus been doubled. For more information please click
4. What are the minimum information requirements (legal obligations)that the online trader (service provider) should provide to users in a website or an eshop?
According to the legal framework on Ecommerce Law (
), based on the EU directive (
) , articles 8-14, are related: 8.–(1) In addition to other information requirements established by Community law and, accordingly, by the related legislation in force, the service provider shall render easily, directly and permanently accessible to the recipients of the service and the Competent Authority at least the following information: (a) the name of the service provider; (b) the geographic address at which the service provider is established; (c) the details of the service provider, including his electronic mail address, telephone number and fax number, which allow him to be contacted rapidly and communicated with in a direct and effective manner; (d) where the service provider is registered in a trade or similar public register, the trade register in which the service provider is entered and his registration number, or equivalent means of identification in that register; (e) where the activity is subject to an authorisation scheme, the particulars of the relevant supervisory authority; (f) as concerns the regulated professions: (i) the professional body or similar institution with which the service provider is registered, (ii) the professional title and the Member State where it is granted; (iii) a reference to the applicable professional rules in the Member State of establishment and the means to access them; (g) where the service provider undertakes an activity that is subject to VAT, the identification number referred to in the legislation in force on value added tax achieving harmonisation with Article 22(1) of the sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes – Common system of value added tax: uniform basis of assessment (OJ L 145, 13/06/1977, p 1). For more information please click
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