The importance of etraders knowing their responsibilities

2nd February 2016

The importance of etraders knowing their responsibilities

As a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) selling online, importing from outside of the EU could be vital to your business.

Often, profit margins are tight and failing to understand your responsibilities as an etrader could lead to huge costs for litigation or defence against enforcement action. Importing high-risk consumer products for which there is strict EU Regulation can leave you extremely vulnerable, examples include toys, electrical items and cosmetics. Failure to comply with these regulations could lead to prosecution if your place in the supply chain is not fully understood. If, for example, you import a toy from China, but you are the owner of a trademark which you affix to the item prior to distribution or sale, you then take on the responsibilities of the manufacturer. Consequently, the due diligence which the enforcement authorities then require may be far greater than you thought necessary.

We have clients who we have helped negotiate through the Internet market place, most recently assisting an Amazon and eBay retailer who had been left with over £70,000 of faulty hover boards and was facing enforcement action. Thanks to the experienced and considered approach deployed, we negotiated a position with Trading Standards which ensured that the items were not destroyed and that the client received no formal action against their business.

How can our Solicitors help you?

If you are unsure of your responsibilities in the supply chain, are subject to enforcement action by government agencies or require advice about legislation governing products you may be selling via your Amazon or eBay store front then contact us for free initial advice on 01473 211121.


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