Now, Licences Have Become Mandatory For e-Stores In Saudi Arabia 

The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) of Saudi have urged all the e-stores to apply for a registration certificate from the Ministry of Commerce or a freelance license from the Freelance Platform, which is run by MHRSD, to sell products online legally. 

Stores must fulfil e-commerce requirements and the provisions of the E-Commerce Law so as to protect consumer rights, ministries urged. 

The E-Commerce Council stated that it is important to apply for a business registration certificate for individuals engaged in e-commerce activities to continue their operations legally. The council stated that business registration certificates could be issued electronically, as it stated that it is important to respect consumer rights. 

It also specified that if the applicant’s business activity needs a license from another government entity, then the applicant must meet the requirements to acquire the same as well. 

According to the council, the stores that have received a registration certificate must implement the following 13 standards of reliability in e-commerce, namely: 

  • Have a contact number for communication 
  • Have an email 
  • Provide a chat option 
  • Provide secure electronic payment through official banking channels 
  • Enable the consumer to complain online 
  • Enable the consumer to lodge a complaint via social media 
  • Disclose the exact time to respond to a complaint 
  • Disclose the exact time for processing a complaint 
  • Disclose the exact time of delivery before completing the purchase and indicate this information in the invoice 
  • The store supports the Arabic language as an option for filing a complaint 
  • Use Arabic in chat 
  • Display products in Arabic  
  • Have a clear and written return or refund policy 

The Ministry of Commerce has recently discovered cases of non-compliance and violation of consumer rights, apart from fraudulent practices perpetrated by some stores run by individuals who do not have a registration certificate. 

The council observed that this step is intended to increase the trustworthiness of e-commerce transactions, as well as to defend consumer and merchant rights and also to eliminate counterfeit businesses. 

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