The Ministry of Trade, Supply and Consumer Protection has prepared an e-commerce bill 2020 which aims to create a regulatory environment that facilitates e-commerce in Nepal.
The bill has been sent to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply for review before being submitted to cabinet for approval.
Extensive discussions take place on the bill before it is tabled in Parliament. Once the bill is passed by Parliament, the President signs it as law.
The Electronic Commerce Law will regulate and facilitate the trade of goods, services and intellectual property rights using electronic means, and support the growing digital ecosystem.
E-commerce has grown steadily in Nepal, and the extraordinary situation created by the stay-at-home order in the wake of the virus pandemic has underscored its importance. The budget statement for the next fiscal year also gave priority to online transactions.
Baikuntha Aryal, secretary of the ministry, said the draft was under review.
The bill separated e-commerce into different business models – depending on the nature of the business – such as inventory, service, market and mixed.
Anyone who wants to start an e-commerce business must be registered with the Office of the Registrar of Companies and acquire a business license. This operating license must be renewed each year, according to a copy of the project obtained by the Post Office.
According to the proposed law, e-commerce companies must obtain a permit from the department within three months from the date of entry into force of the e-commerce law.
After the period ends, companies still have three months to obtain their license by paying a fine. Businesses will not be able to transact if they do not obtain a permit within the extended time frame.
E-commerce businesses are required to issue electronic invoices, receipts and other documents, and keep electronic records of all transactions, according to the draft.
Information about the company’s goods and services should be published on its website and any changes should be immediately updated, the project says.
Size, variety, weight, quality, characteristics and price must be clearly mentioned in Nepali and English, including the expiration date and the label of the products on the website.
Customers have the right to return the goods sold with a warranty within 15 days from the date of purchase in the event of defects.
If substandard goods or faulty goods are delivered to the customer and he faces some hassle, he has the right to claim compensation.
Traders are required to post their registration certificate, license, name, address and contact details on the official website, and all documentation must be fully visible to the public, depending on the project.
Buyers can cancel their order within 24 hours and place an order for another product if they change their mind.
They can make online payments through their own account using any digital platform operating in the country according to the law, or they can do online banking transactions or pay in cash. Merchants must clearly provide payment information.
The service provider will be compensated for losses caused by unauthorized and insecure payments made by the user of the service through their own account, and it will be up to each user to immediately notify the service provider of the unauthorized payment made through its account.
If an item purchased from seller is different from what the buyer requested, is damaged, or is in an unusable condition, the buyer must return the item within five days from the date of receipt. . The buyer can purchase another item or withdraw the amount paid.
If there is an error in the goods or services sold by the intermediary trader electronically, if the goods sold or delivered are different from what is requested, or if they cannot be used due to their poor quality , these goods can be withdrawn, exchanged, or refunded. The responsibility will lie with the mediating businessman.
Entrepreneurs operating under the e-business regulation will be required to take back and exchange non-consumable goods due to defects in the production of goods or services sold electronically.
Depending on the nature of the item to be transported, this item must be transported within the specified time. The sender will be responsible if the item is damaged, leaked or destroyed in transit.
If the goods and services are not available as requested by the buyer when buying and selling the goods and services or if the goods and services are not available for other reasons, there will be no condition contrary to the repayment agreement.
Customer data regarding credit / debit, personal data and bank account number must be kept confidential and secure.
The department will carry out a necessary inspection of the trading company, goods and storage facilities. If traders break the rules, they will be fined Rs 25,000 to Rs 300,000, depending on the case.