- Nepal Government registered a bill to regulate e-commerce in the country.
- Engaging in e-commerce without an electronic platform may result in a fine of up to Rs. 50,000.
- E-commerce now need to be listed on the government-established e-commerce portal.
Individuals in Nepal who engage in online business exclusively through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or other social media platforms without proper e-commerce platforms may face fines of up to Rs. 50,000, according to the new bill drafted by the Nepal government.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies Ramesh Rijal registered a bill (E-Commerce Act, 2080) in parliament with the aim to regulate and manage electronic commerce in Nepal.
Establishing Electronic Platforms: Key Requirement for E-Commerce Businesses
The bill stipulates that every e-commerce business must establish an electronic platform.
The Act defines an electronic platform as a system designed for the purpose of trading goods or services by collecting, transmitting, or storing information through websites, applications, software, the internet, intranet, and other means using computers, mobile phones, and similar electronic devices.
The platform is required to provide various details, including its name, business name, address, registration number, company’s registered office, VAT and PAN numbers, contact information, and more.
Government Listing and Requirements
Additionally, businesses must submit an online application to be listed on the government-established “e-commerce portal.” Then, the businesses are required to include the listed number on its e-commerce platforms.
Existing e-commerce companies must submit its applications for listing within three months from the commencement date of the Act.
Product and Service Information
Furthermore, the Act requires e-commerce platforms to provide details of the products or services offered, including the name, nature, design, trademark, weight, the final price with tax, any additional costs such as transportation, delivery time, and date, as well as the inclusion of reviews, ratings, and feedback.
Buyer’s Right to Return
If the purchased product or service does not meet the buyer’s requirements, the buyer should be able to return the product and receive a refund unconditionally.
Import and Export Opportunities
Additionally, any individual, firm, company, or organization in Nepal can purchase and import a product or service from a foreign e-commerce platform. Alternatively, they can export to an individual, firm, company, or organization abroad after fulfilling the advance payment requirement as per the existing federal laws.
Confidentiality and Data Privacy
The bill also states that the e-commerce business must maintain the confidentiality of personal details pertaining to any individual involved in e-commerce. Moreover, it should not disclose this information to others or utilize it for its own purposes other than as per the contract.
The customer should also be able to enter the e-commerce platform and modify their personal details, and also close the source of their identity.
Up to 5 Lakhs Fine
Additionally, According to Section 21 of the bill, individuals who engage in e-commerce without establishing an electronic platform, operate businesses without listing on the government’s e-commerce portal, or fail to disclose the details of the products or services provided may face fines imposed by inspection officials ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000.
Furthermore, the Act outlines the duties and responsibilities of intermediaries, listed e-commerce companies, sellers, buyers, and transportation-related responsibilities.
Section 23 specifies that violating the aforementioned responsibilities and duties can result in imprisonment ranging from 2 to 3 years, a fine ranging from 3 to 5 lakhs rupees, or both.
If anyone finds someone violating the E-Commerce Act, they can lodge a complaint with the government or inspection officials. The complainant has the option to conceal their personal details if desired.
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