New bill on state regulation of trading activities on marketplaces

Bill No. 568223-8 [1]on the regulation of trading activities on marketplaces (the “Bill”) has been submitted to the State Duma for consideration. According to the Bill, the new rules will ensure that the rights and legitimate interests of sellers, owners of pick-up points and aggregators of information about goods (“Marketplace” or “Trading Platform”) are respected. The purpose of this bill is to provide general regulation for all marketplaces.

In particular, it defines the requirements for contracts, which must contain the procedure for the sale of goods, determining and changing the price, mutual settlements between the parties, as well as the liability of the parties and the procedure for dispute resolution. In particular, the contract between a trading platform and the owner of a pick-up point shall, among other things, specify the requirements for the infrastructure of such pick-up point.

Also, according to the bill, when concluding a contract for the provision of services, the trading platform will be obliged to carry out a procedure to confirm the seller's profile and identify the owner of a a pick-up point by requesting documents certifying identity and (or) confirming the state registration of a legal entity or the status of an individual entrepreneur, self-employed person, etc.

It is not allowed to place information on the web-page of the trading platform about goods, the free sale of which is prohibited or subject to mandatory labelling in accordance with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation. A trading platform must, among other things, ensure that the age of the purchaser is verified when attempting to access the card of a product whose sale is age-restricted in accordance with current Russian legislation. Trading platforms will also be prohibited from demanding and receiving from the buyer compensation and other payments in connection with the return of goods.

Special rules are introduced for marketplaces that occupy a significant position on the market, the share of transactions between sellers and buyers in value terms exceeds 20% of the total volume of transactions made on marketplaces in Russia for the preceding calendar year. Such marketplaces occupying a significant position on the market are prohibited from changing the terms and conditions of the service agreement, which worsen the position of sellers and owners of pick-up points, without prior notice (at least 30 days in advance). In addition, such marketplaces are prohibited from creating conditions for the sale of goods on other trading platforms on the Internet.

If adopted, this law will enter into force on March 1, 2025. Compliance with the rules and requirements stipulated by this federal law will be supervised by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia.

[1] Bill No. 568223-8 on State Regulation of Trade Activities of Aggregators of Information on Goods in the Russian Federation and on Amendments to the Federal Law "On the Basics of State Regulation of Trade Activities in the Russian Federation"