German Ecommerce Regulations

Last modified by Nick on Wed, June 23, 2010 17:37
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German Ecommerce Regulations

German ecommerce law regulations are quite complicated, so i guess a new page would make sense. VAT in Germany is “Umsatzsteuer” or “MwSt” = “Mehrwertsteuer”. In ecommerce websites it is common to use “MwSt.”

VAT is 19% on general merchant and 7% for reduced tax merchant (food, printmedia)

Product Catalog

Prices on the website have to be displayed including sales tax (VAT). An exception are ecommerce shops which only sell business-to-business and very small companies or special groups of customers like other companies. So depending on the login of a customer prices will be including or excluding tax. All additonal costs (shipping and handling) have to be quoted next to the price itself on the website. This regulation caused a lot of trouble in the past. Now you can see shipping prices on most german websites multiple times close to every pricetag. Special offers for a defines period of time have to be marked as special ofers and conditions for purchase have to be explained. Prices that refer to weight or volume units need an additional pricetag for the whole unit, i.e. a product that costs 5,00 Euro per 50 gramm needs a note that 100 gramm is 10,00 Euro (only allowed if product weight is <= 250 gramm) or 1kg is 100,00 Euro. Imprint and Privacy policy are mandatory.

Checkout System

Mandatory confirmation of the terms and conditions in the checkout process. The customer needs to confirm a checkbox that he accepts the conditions of the shop in order to process his order.

Revocation/cancellation rights

In addition to accepting the terms and conditions of the webshop, the customer also needs to be presented his rights of revocation concerning his order before he finishes the checkout procedure.

Customer account

The customer must agree to the privacy policy before submitting personal data to the server. This should be recorded with timestamp. The creation of a customer account must be optional. Also the customer must be able to cancel/delete his customer account without administrative interaction.

Email Confirmation

The order confirmation email has to contain these items:



External Sources