The development of electronic commerce is crucial for the European
Community and the internal market. The Directive 2000/31/EC sets a legal
frame work for the Electronic Commerce in Europe. (See also the First
Report on the application of the Directive which can be found in the
Internet site of the European Union Law: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/e-commerce/directive/index_en.htm).
This Directive has been implemented to Greek Law by the Presidential Decree 131/2003 and in Cypriot law by the Law 156 (I) 2004.
The Directive a number of obligations of the natural or legal persons
which provide on line economic activity (service providers). The service
providers are not subject to any authorisation. That means that it is
not necessary to obtain a special authorisation to exerce electronic
commerce. However, if national law provides special requirements and
administrative procedure or authorisation in order to exerce a
professional avtivity these requirements must be fullfiled. (see also
article 4 of Law 2251/1994 about consumer protection and distance
contracts which establishes the obligation to be declared to a special
Registry of the Ministry of Development). Information society services
are, in principle, subject to the law of the Member State in which the
service provider is established.
In turn, the Member State in which the information society service is
received cannot restrict incoming services.The Directive covers the
provision of a variety of electronic services :information services,
online selling of products, advertising, professional services, Internet
access services, hosting of contents.