Unizo E-commerce label

Code of Conduct UNIZO e-commerce label

In order to encourage the store owners to develop a safe and user-friendly online store UNIZO has developed the e-commerce label. (the “UNIZO e-commerce label”). With this UNIZO e-commerce label code of conduct (the "Code" UNIZO wants to advance the trust relationship between the consumer and the traders within the domain of e-commerce to a maximum. This system of self-regulation gives stores and traders who accept the Code and whose e-commerce label meets the basic requirements as set forth in the Code the option to reveal the UNIZO e-commerce label.

The Code contains the minimal requirements that have to be met in order to obtain the UNIZO e-commerce label. By all means the Code never has the meaning to take the place of current Belgian law.

Article 1. Definitions
A distance contract: any contract between the seller and consumer on the matter of products and services concluded within the frame of a system organized system for distance selling or remote services by the seller. With this only one or multiple techniques of distance communication are used up to and including the conclusion of the agreement itself.

Technique for distance communication: any means that can be used to close an agreement between parties, without the simultaneous physical presence of the consumer and seller.

Article 2: scope and award conditions of the UNIZO e-commerce label
UNIZO owns the UNIZO e-commerce label and is exclusively authorized to grant and withdraw the e-commerce label under the provisions of this code.

The UNIZO e-commerce label is available to UNIZO members that:
- are an entrepreneur and possess a valid company number;
- close distance agreements with consumers within Belgium;
- agree to the terms of the UNIZO e-commerce label, as stated in this Code;
- agree to the certification procedure (see art. 4 of this Code) and sign in their e-commerce website;
- pay the costs related to the certification procedure, with a total amount of 250 euros, excl. VAT;
- annual pay the UNIZO membership fee;
- received a positive report of the UNIZO audit-committee after their e-commerce website was checked on the fulfilment of this Code;
- Participate periodically in the UNIZO e-commerce survey to advance the sector;
- acknowledge that this Code does not replaces the applicable law, which they have agreed to comply.

The UNIZO e-commerce label may be used in all communications towards customers. The UNIZO e-commerce label can however never be graphically edited. On the certificated website the logo has to redirect people to the next page: http://www.unizo.be/e-commercelabel/labeldragers.jsp.

Article 3. Conditions attached to the UNIZO e-commerce label
3.1 Information and transparency

3.1.1. Information in advance
By offering a sale at distance the consumer has to be informed in an unambiguous, clear and understandable way by any means that is adapted to the technique for remote communication.

The consumer should thereby easy, directly and permanently have access to the following information:
- the identity (name or trade name) of the seller and his geographical address;
- a telephone number and e-mail address of the seller;
- the company number and VAT number of the seller;
- the price of the product or service (“all-in price”, i.e. price including VAT and other taxes that have to be paid by the consumer);
- the delivery charges, if there are any;
- the validity period of the offer or the price;
- the method of payment, delivery or performance of the contract (payment options, delivery, etc.);
- the existence of a right of withdrawal;
- the method of reversal and return of the product, including any associated costs;
- where appropriate, the minimum duration of the agreement in case of contracts for renewable or periodic services or product delivery;
- when an activity is submissive to an authorization scheme, the data of the relevant supervisory authority;
- with regard to regulated professions;
a) the trade union or trade organization with whom the seller is registered.
b) the professional title and the state where it is granted
c) a reference to the applicable professional rules and ways of accessing them;
- the codes of conduct that may be endorsed, as well as the information about the way these codes can be consulted electronically.

3.1.2. Rules when concluding a contract
Without prejudice to other legal and regulatory information requirements the seller must provide following informations on a clear, comprehensible and unambiguous way before the consumer places his order:
- the languages in which the contract can be entered;
- the different technical steps that have to be taken to enter the contract;
- the technical means on which input errors can be found and corrected before placing an order;
- the contractual terms and general conditions of the contract that have to be given to the consumer on a way that he can store and display them.

3.1.3. Information afterwards
The consumer must receive a written or another durable receipt at his disposal and accessible to him that should at least mention:
- the identity of the seller;
- the identification of the product or service;
- the price and any delivery costs
- the method of payment
- where applicable, the existence, terms and exercising the right of withdrawal;
- where applicable, the minimal duration of the contract;
- the geographic address of the business of the seller, where the consumer can address any complaints;
- the information on existing after sales services and commercial guarantees;
- the conditions for the termination of the contract, when it has an indefinite duration or has a duration exceeding one year.

With ‘durable medium, computer disks, CD-ROMs, dvd’s and a computer’s hard drive of the consumers computer where his electronic mail is saved are meant. Internet websites are not covered here. Sending an e-mail to the consumer to confirm the purchase (with the required information included) is most often used in practice.

The consumer must receive this information at the latest the day before the products are delivered. For services these information must be transferred prior to the implementation of each service contract and if applicable, during the execution of the service contract if the performance, with agreement of the consumer, started prior to the expiration of the withdrawal period.

3.2. Payment by the consumer
The consumer is clearly informed of the available safe payment methods.

If an appeal is made on external parties to ensure the safety, this is communicated to the consumer.

In case of exercising the right of withdrawal, the seller is bound to refund the sums paid by the customer, without extra costs. This refund must be executed within 30 days following the withdrawal.

3.3. Implementation of the agreement
Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the seller must execute the order within 30 days starting from the day following that on which the consumer forwarded his order.

Except in cases of force majeure, the consumer can request the termination if the contract is not carried out without prejudice to any compensation obtained by the seller. Within this period following this dissolution no fee nor expenses can be requested of the consumer. In addition, the consumer should be reimbursed within 30 days with the amounts he has paid. At the end of the legally stipulated time limit of 30 days or as agreed by the parties there can be an agreement between the parties to extend the period by mutual agreement. The shipment of products and services representing the titles is always at the risk of the seller.

3.4. Privacy – protection the privacy
The seller must inform the consumer in an unambiguous, clear and understandable manner the way their personal data is processed via an audible privacy clause that can be consulted on any page of the e-commerce website. This clause must contain following elements:
- the contact details of the person responsible for the processing of the personal data;
- the purpose for which the personal data are processed;
- the statement that the consumer has the right to check and correct his own personal data, and a procedure to do so;
- Whether the data will be used for direct marketing and if applicable the indication that the consumer may object free of charge;
- Whether the data, with consent of the consumer, will be passed on to third parties and how consumers may object here if necessary.

Only personal data which are necessary in order to achieve their objective may be collected.

3.5 Additional mandatory references (specific for legal entities / companies)
With regard to legal persons / companies it is recalled that every website as well as any (electronic) document on the basis of the company, in accordance with the Companies Code, requires some mandatory entries.

With “each piece based on the company” is meant that, without being limitative, following things are included: order confirmations, e-mails, letters, certificates, announcements, etc.

It is an accurate statement of:
- the registered office of the company;
- the legal status (full or abbreviated) of the Company (NV, BVBA, …);
- the RPR or legal registry: the word legal registry or RPR should be followed by the office of the court that is competent for the jurisdiction in which the company has its registered office (e.g. RPR Gent).

Example:  NAME COMPANY NV
STREET NUMBER CITYCODE CITY
VAT BE 0123.456.789
RPR…..

Article 4. Certification procedure
Vendors can register for the UNIZO e-commerce audit through the registration form available on the website of the UNIZO e-commerce label.

Candidates for the UNIZO e-commerce label are monitored by the UNIZO audit-committee for compliance with this Code on the basis of a checklist that is made available on the website of the UNIZO e-commerce label.

The e-commerce audit will be carried out only upon receipt of payment of the costs related to the certification process in the amount of 250 euros (excl. VAT) and the UNIZO membership fee.

If, on the basis of the audit carried out, is shown that the notified e-commerce website does not meet the requirements of this Code, a negative audit report is submitted to the seller. Such a negative audit report lists the conditions and/or obligations which the seller must meet before he can obtain the e-commerce label. The seller receives a maximum period of one month from the receipt of the negative audit report to make the necessary adjustments and deliver proof to the audit-committee.

Sellers who receive a positive audit report for their e-commerce website will be awarded with the UNIZO e-commerce label.

Article 5. Withdrawal of the  UNIZO e-commerce label
UNIZO will regularly and randomly control the websites that have received the UNIZO e-commerce label.

UNIZO reserves the right to withdraw the UNIZO e-commerce label when a website with the UNIZO e-commerce label and/or the sales practices of the seller of a certified website are no longer in conformity with the Code.

The right to use the UNIZO e-commerce label expires and is therefore prohibited:
- in case of withdrawal of the UNIZO e-commerce label by UNIZO after the check described above;
- in case of withdrawal of the UNIZO e-commerce label by the Disputes Committee (art. 6);
- When stopping the UNIZO membership.

Article 6. Competence and functioning of the Disputes Committee
The Disputes Committee is set up within UNIZO and is responsible for monitoring the application and determine violations of the Code.

Against websites that carry the UNIZO e-commerce label, but are not conform the Code or are not registered at www.unizo.be/ecommercelabel, a complaint can be filled with the Board of UNIZO. If the complaint is justified, the committee will arbitrate to come to a solution. If this is not possible, they may decide to withdraw the e-commerce label. For smaller violations a warning can be given and an adjustment procedure is provided which lasts up to one month maximum.

To be admissible, the complaint must make mention of the alleged infringement along with the article of the Code that is violated. The complaint must contain a precise statement of the facts and is supported by all relevant documents.

The Disputes Committee can and may not take the place of courts, which remain competent for claims with a view to the recovery of any losses.

Article 7. Revision of the Code
UNIZO can change this code at any time (the award conditions, rules and rates). The carriers of the UNIZO e-commerce label will be given a heads up in advance. Also they will be given the time to re-establish the Code.

Article 8. Applicable Law and Courts
The Belgian Law is applicable to this Code. When any disputes occur only the courts in the Brussels district are competent to take notice.


Last update: April 30, 2013
UNIZO vzw – Willebroekkaai 37 – 1000 Brussel – www.unizo.be

 

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