Directions regarding e-commerce sales during alert level 4 released

e commerce
18 May 2020

E-Commerce platforms may now sell all goods other than those currently prohibited by Disaster Management Act Regulations.

Directions Regarding e-Commerce Sales During Alert Level 4 of the COVID-19 National State of Disaster have been drawn up.

The trade, industry and competition department published the Directions in Government Gazette 43321.

In accordance with the regulations, alcohol and tobacco products may not be sold online.

The aim of the Directions is to provide direction on the goods that can be sold through e-Commerce platforms and the protocols that must be observed by retailers, couriers or delivery services and customers in respect of such goods.

According to the Directions, e-Commerce is an important retail platform but “appropriate health and safety protocols need to be put in place which can allow the full e-Commerce supply chain to operate safely while mitigating the risk of it becoming a vector for transmission of the coronavirus”.

The Directions set down the minimum protocols that retailers, courier and delivery services, and customers must maintain in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In order to allow greater numbers of South Africans to benefit from e-Commerce platforms during the national state of disaster, the Directions also “recommend increased access for consumers through the provision of multiple payment channels, including for low-income consumers and the promotion of South African-made products”.

Protocols for e-Commerce retailers, courier or delivery services and customers are also set down.

Retailers are called upon to promote locally manufactured goods and provide as many payment options as possible to consumers.

Courier and delivery personnel are also expected to wear a cloth face mask covering the nose and mouth when delivering goods to customers.

Customers are also expected to wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth when receiving goods from courier and delivery personnel.

The Directions came into effect on the date of publication and remain in force for the duration of Alert Level 4.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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