On 22 July 2019, the Government of the Republic of Serbia has adopted the Law on Commerce (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia No. 52/2019) (hereinafter: the “Law“), which came into force on 30 July 2019.
Rapid technological development and new manners of conducting business imposed the need to introduce new solutions and institutes which have not been defined so far under the regulatory framework.
The Law differentiates the following ways of carrying out the commerce:
· Retail commerce and providing services to consumers. In addition to the traditional forms of trade at the point of sale or personal supply commerce, the Law now defines instates of the remote commerce such as e- commerce and commerce via other means of communication.
In that regard, the most important is consisted in the specially regulated forms of e-commerce, such as:
· webshop sales – when the retailer has its own e-store through which it offers goods/services to consumers;
· Sales through an electronic (e-commerce) platform – platform that links consumer and retailer, whereas the platform often provides billing and delivery services;
· Dropshipping – the sale of goods to consumers through trader’s own online store or through an e-platform whereby the goods are delivered to the consumer directly by the manufacturer / importer, without coming into the trader’s possession.
The Law establishes a distinction between e-commerce intended for the domestic market and e-commerce intended for the foreign market and prescribes exceptions when the retail can indicate the prices in the foreign currency.
The retailers have the right to keep all the documents on the procurement and the purchase goods, which are in its possession or which it issues and sends to the buyers, in the form of an electronic document.
The Law defines the purchase incentives as well as content that the advertisement message must not contain, relating to the purchase incentives.
The Law introduces a novelty explaining the institute of undercover purchase by which authorizes the competent inspector, in case of reasonable suspicion that a person unlawfully carries out (electronic) commerce or does not issue an invoice for the sold goods /the rendered service in order to collect or ensure the evidence, to initiate and upon receipt of an order make a undercover purchase of a good / service.