Wednesday, March 21, 2012

International Online Shopping

U.S. stores are shipping to customers in Australia.

"International visitors are coming to American sites because of lower prices and the availability of products they cannot get in their own countries, according to Forrester. Macy’s has found that Australian shoppers are particularly interested in its trendy clothes, while Canadians want basics like coats, shoes and underwear."  See NYT

What legal issues could arise for the U.S. sellers and the Australian buyers?

2 comments:

Victor said...

In addition to the issues mentioned in the article, the main issues that come to my mind are the validity of the electronic transaction, the enforceability of the terms and conditions and jurisdiction.

In case there is a problem and either the Australian Buyer or the American Seller have decided to enforce the contract it is important to determine what law would be applied and who has authority to enforce a decision.

Information such as the relevant law to be applied in case of a dispute should be specified in the term and conditions of the sellers website and of the supply of goods and services.

However, where an applicable law has not been specified, the courts will have to determine whether the Plaintiff has personal jurisdiction. (leading cases: US Calder v Jones- AU Dow Jones v. Gutnick)

The terms and conditions will be enforceable only if they do not infringe the applicable law and have clearly been accepted by the buyer. The seller therefore is required to provide reasonable notice of the terms and conditions before they are accepted or deemed to be accepted by the buyer.

Victor said...
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