The proposal of the amendments to the Trade Law brings about changes in the treatment of offline and online commerce, and it now recognizes various business models and their specificities that have not been recognized before.
The amendments, which have recently passed the public debate procedure along with the amendments to the Electronic Trade Law, will be now presented to members of the National Parliament.
Before the amendments had been drafted, an analysis of the existing laws was conducted and proposals and suggestions were given on what and how to change e-commerce regulation.
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For the first time ever, the amendments define the most frequent forms of electronic trade, such as the sale through an electronic store or an electronic platform, as well as drop shipping (a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers the customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer).
Some of the provisions in the Amendments to the Law are also important to mention. They specify the obligations and responsibilities of information society service providers, the issue of sending commercial messages, the cross-border provision of information society services, and, for the first time ever, blockchain and smart contracts.
In addition to various forms of electronic trade, another new feature is the possibility of displaying prices in foreign currencies. The current Trade Law prescribes that all the prices must be displayed in dinars, whereas the amendments say that they must be displayed in dinars only if the sale is meant for the local market. In other words, owners of electronic stores who sell their products worldwide can now display prices in foreign currencies.
Furthermore, the draft law enables the displaying of sales prices in foreign currency for certain products and services sold online, regardless of whether the electronic trade is directed at the local or the foreign market.
Prices can then be displayed in foreign currencies in case of “online sales and purchase of software and other digital products, which are delivered exclusively through telecommunications, digital or information-technology devices”.
As the Government says, the amendments were prepared in cooperation with businesses. The Work Group, consisting of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the companies around it, the National Alliance for Economic Development, as well as an informal group of service providers, including some of the biggest names in e-commerce: KupujemProdajem, Halo Oglasi, Limundo, Kupindo, were involved in drafting these amendments.
If the draft amendments are adopted, the question remains who is going to implement them or rather whether the bureaucratic apparatus will be sufficiently trained to interpret and implement them correctly.
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