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E-commerce Compliance: Why is it important for your business?

E-Commerce Compliance

According to Gartner's forecast, by 2023, approximately 75% of global consumers will be protected by modern privacy laws, a significant increase from the mere 10% covered in 2020. While data privacy is a crucial aspect that businesses need to consider, it is only one of several other essential components that demand attention and action. Numerous other aspects share similar importance and require diligent handling within the business landscape.

Achieving and sustaining full compliance with all e-commerce-related regulations is not a choice; it is an essential requirement for your business, regardless of its size – whether it's a global enterprise or a small business. Selling across state or international borders necessitates compliance. Properly addressing taxation, legal regulations, and data privacy is imperative. Neglecting these areas puts the entire business at risk.

PCI Compliance

Credit card companies mandate Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance to safeguard the security of credit card transactions within the payments industry. It encompasses the technical and operational standards that businesses adhere to in order to secure and protect credit card data furnished by cardholders and transmitted during card processing transactions. PCI compliance goes beyond securing the actual transactions; it necessitates the protection of data both during its movement and when at rest. While the overarching intent of PCI DSS is to ensure data security, the standards themselves continuously evolve alongside the technology they influence.

To adhere to PCI guidelines, it is crucial to follow several security best practices, encompassing 12 major steps:

- Implement firewalls to safeguard data.

- Employ appropriate password protection, such as two-factor authentication (2FA).

- Take measures to protect cardholder data.

- Encrypt transmitted cardholder data to enhance security.

- Utilise antivirus and anti-malware software to prevent threats.

- Regularly update software and maintain security systems to stay protected.

- Restrict access to cardholder data, allowing only authorised personnel.

- Assign unique IDs to individuals with access to data for accountability.

- Limit physical access to data storage areas to authorised personnel.

- Create and monitor access logs to track data usage.

- Conduct regular security system testing to identify and address vulnerabilities.

- Establish a well-documented policy that can be effectively followed to ensure compliance.

GDPR Compliance

GDPR Compliance

GDPR Compliance

The European Commission asserts that having a single supervisory authority for the entire EU will streamline operations and reduce costs for businesses operating within the region. In fact, the Commission estimates that GDPR will lead to annual savings of €2.3 billion throughout Europe.

The Commission believes that this unification of data protection rules in Europe creates a business opportunity and fosters an environment conducive to innovation. By providing a consistent and predictable framework, GDPR encourages companies to explore new avenues while safeguarding the privacy rights of individuals. The regulation is applicable in scenarios where the data controller (an entity that collects information about individuals, regardless of their location), processor (an organisation handling data on behalf of a data controller, like cloud service providers), or the data subject (individual) is based within the EU. Additionally, under specific circumstances, the regulation extends to organisations outside the EU if they collect or process personal data of individuals situated within the EU. However, the regulation does not cover data processing conducted by an individual for purely personal or household activities, devoid of any connection to professional or commercial endeavours.

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Sea transportation regulations

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) serves as the primary regulatory authority for the sea transportation industry, operating as a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) with its headquarters in London. The necessity for regulations arises from the need to coordinate numerous activities, improve efficiency, ensure safety, and minimise the carbon footprint in response to ever-evolving challenges.

The core objective of these regulations is to mitigate the adverse effects associated with ship recycling. To achieve safe disposal or recycling of all ship components, including hazardous materials, the IMO's regulations enforce proper vessel dismantling methods. By doing so, they aim to safeguard the environment, human health, and ensure sustainable practices within the sea transportation sector.

As international sales are introduced, shipping can rapidly become exceedingly complex, particularly due to various restrictions imposed on certain products like alcohol, fruits, vegetables, and perishables, either by local laws or the shipping providers themselves. These restrictions can potentially have significant implications on supply chains and vendor partnerships. 

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EU transportation regulations

Some key areas that EU transportation regulations address include vehicle standards, driver qualifications, transport permits, cargo handling, emissions control, passenger rights, and cross-border transportation protocols. These regulations aim to harmonise transportation practices across the EU, facilitate seamless movement of goods and people, and promote a competitive and sustainable transportation industry within the region.

Ensuring responsible communication with content compliance

Content compliance can vary depending on the context and industry. For example, in the realm of e-commerce, content compliance may involve following data protection laws to safeguard customer information or ensuring that product descriptions do not violate advertising regulations. In the healthcare sector, content compliance may involve adhering to guidelines set by medical associations to maintain accuracy and ethical standards.


The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) enacted in 1998 imposes limitations on the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 by websites. It outlines the specific requirements that must be included in privacy policies, determines when parental consent is necessary, ensures online protection for children, and regulates what can be marketed to them. Adhering to COPPA's regulations can be cumbersome, leading some e-commerce websites to avoid offering products intended for children entirely.

European Union Directive on Electronic Commerce

Companies established within the EU can provide online services to consumers in other EU member states while adhering to the laws and regulations of their home country (the country of origin). This principle reduces legal complexities for cross-border online services. The Directive establishes a framework for the liability of intermediaries, such as internet service providers (ISPs) and hosting platforms, for content shared or hosted on their platforms by users. In general, intermediaries are not liable for illegal content, provided they act expeditiously to remove or block access to such content upon becoming aware of it.

E-commerce businesses are required to provide certain information to consumers before a contract is concluded, including details about the seller, the main characteristics of the goods or services, the total price (including taxes and delivery costs), and the applicable payment and delivery methods. The E-commerce Directive recognizes the validity and enforceability of electronic contracts, ensuring legal certainty in online transactions. Read this guide on E-commerce supply chain and voice search optimization.


The CAN-SPAM Act imposes penalties of up to $50,120 for each individual email found in violation, making non-compliance a costly affair. However, adhering to the law is straightforward. Here's a summary of the primary requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act:

Accurate Header Information: Ensure that your "From," "To," "Reply-To," and routing information, including the originating domain name and email address, are not false or misleading and accurately identify the person or business who initiated the message.

Honest Subject Lines: Your subject line must accurately reflect the content of the email; deceptive subject lines are prohibited.

Identify Messages as Ads: Clearly and conspicuously disclose that your message is an advertisement, allowing flexibility in how you do this.

Include Physical Address: Provide a valid physical postal address in your email, which can be your current street address, a registered post office box, or a registered private mailbox with a commercial mail receiving agency.

Opt-Out Mechanism: Offer recipients a clear and easy way to opt out of receiving future emails from you. The opt-out notice should be easily recognizable, readable, and understandable. You must honour opt-out requests within 10 business days, and any opt-out mechanism should remain operational for at least 30 days after sending the message. Do not charge fees or request additional personally identifying information beyond the email address for opt-out requests.

Do Not Share Opted-Out Email Addresses: Once recipients opt out, you cannot sell or transfer their email addresses, except to a company helping you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Monitor Third-Party Activities: Even if you hire another company for email marketing, you remain legally responsible for compliance with the law. Both the promoted company and the actual sender of the email may be held accountable for any violations.

By following these guidelines, businesses can stay compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act, ensuring responsible email marketing practices and maintaining trust with recipients.

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

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About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

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