RIYADH — Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Commerce has referred 200 online stores to the E-Commerce Violations Committee to impose legal penalties on them.

The Ministry referred e-stores due to violating the compliance standards for e-commerce reliability.

The move comes to enhance the reliability of e-commerce transactions and to monitor violations before they occur to consumers, in addition to protecting and preserving the rights of the online shopper to create a fair trading environment.

The ministry explained that the process of monitoring included several e-stores, including large, medium and small ones that sell many different products such as e-devices, cosmetics, furniture, and others.

The E-Commerce Council has announced the obligation of e-stores to implement 13 standards that they must provide for the reliability in e-commerce, which are:

1 - Contact phone number.

2 - E-mail.

3 - Instant chat.

4 - A reliable e-payment feature must be provided through an approved banking channel.

5 - It is necessary to enable the consumer to file a complaint on the store's website.

6 - Enabling consumers to file a complaint through social media.

7 - E-stores must disclose the exact time to respond to consumer complaints.

8 - It is necessary to disclose the exact time for processing the submitted complaint.

9 - E-stores must disclose the exact delivery time before completing the purchase process, and indicate it in the invoice.

10 - E-stores must provide the Arabic language in the complaint mechanism.

11 - The usage of the Arabic language in instant chats is important to communicate with consumers.

12 – Product labels must be displayed in Arabic.

13 - E-stores must provide a clear, written policy for exchanges and returns.

The Ministry of Commerce noted that the e-commerce system and its executive regulations stipulate penalties for violating stores as follows:

1 - A fine of up to SR1 million.

2 - Blocking and closing the site that committed the violation.

3 - Prohibition from carrying out the activity.

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