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2021-01-14 14:47

Selling food products online - how to comply with the law

During the pandemic, many companies turned to the internet to continue selling during confinement. See here what your site must display to comply with ASAE laws for online stores

With the increase in the number of Portuguese companies with online stores, ASAE is making a special check of the compliance of these websites with the laws for e-commerce. If you have an online store, especially if you sell food products over the internet, check that your website complies with the laws.

 

Information taken from the information leaflet (link to the leaflet at the bottom of the page):

Rules for Selling Food Products Online

The information should be provided to the consumer in good time and prior to the conclusion of any sales contract, must be clear and comprehensible, with respect for the principles of good faith, loyalty in commercial transactions and the protection of people unable to exercise their rights.

 

1. Ensure the credibility of the website

Identify your company and the contact information: full geographic and virtual addresses and telephone number. Discriminate the terms and conditions and privacy policy, which become legally valid from the moment of ordering. Establish the return policy correctly, specifying any exceptions.

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The myCsite platform already has terms and conditions filled in by default, but you should always check and customize the terms and conditions so that they apply to your company. You can do this in the administration of your website.

The company's contact details are already shown on the website by default.

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2. Ensure website security

Manage your website in a professional manner, avoiding spelling or grammatical errors. Present good quality photographs and, whenever possible, of your own. Maintain a safe and reliable customer support line.

 

3. Ensure the protection of consumer interests

Make sure that you comply with European and national food laws and that you use the padlock symbol in the URL bar and security protocols and certificates (https, SSL ...) that guarantee the security and protection of consumer data.

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At Creoconcept.com, all websites can have these protocols for free. If you don't see the lock in your website's URL bar, contact us so we can activate the certificates.

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4. Ensure the safety of the Food (s)

Food sold over the internet must come from authorized establishments that comply with general hygiene requirements. Special conditions of conservation must always be maintained, namely the cold chain must always be maintained, so temperature control must be ensured at all times and at all stages until delivery to the consumer.

 

5. Include the mandatory information of the Food (s)

In the pre-packaged food (s) refer to all mandatory information in English: commercial name, the list of ingredients, the nutritional declaration, the allergen declaration (if applicable), the quantity of highlight ingredients (%), the quantity of product (weight / volume / units), the indications related to the producer or packager, the country of origin (if applicable), and the alcoholic volume (if applicable), among others.
The non-prepackaged food (s) must include the commercial description, the allergen declaration (if applicable), the special conditions for storage and or use (if applicable), the country of origin ( if applicable) and the method of use (if applicable). Mandatory information must appear before purchase and at the time of delivery.

 

6. Check RASFF regularly

Ensure effective collection or effective removal of unsafe food from your website. Check the RASFF portal regularly: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/rasff/portal_en

 

7. Make consumer feedback public

Allow consumers to comment on the product (s), service or the website itself, in public, so that other consumers can access it.

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On the myCsite platform, you can enable and disable customer feedback in the shop settings.

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8. Present all possible charges before purchase

Advertise a price that includes all delivery charges and fees or taxes in force, with diverse and secure payment methods, including cash on delivery payments.

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The myCsite platform already does this by default

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9. Provide information about the delivery process

Provide specific details regarding the means and conditions of transport, packaging and delivery time.

 

10. Allow the possibility of suspension of payment

Allow consumers to suspend payment for the service before providing payment card details. Inform consumers, prior to payment, about current refund policies as well as order cancellation policies, if applicable.
[The right to cancel an order does not apply in certain circumstances, especially when it comes to perishable products]

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The myCsite platform already automatically sends an email to the customer to notify them of receipt of payment, but if you are not using the platform's automatic invoicing, be sure to send invoices and receipts to the customer by email.

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Information sources:

Information leaflet (PDF) for food sector operators that have an online store - Food Sold Over the Internet - Sales Responsibilities (www.asae.gov.pt)

This leaflet is in portuguese. If you need help understanding the information, please contact us. We will help you.

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