Posted: 1 year ago

Georgia Set to Adopt "Electronic Commerce" Law in Spring Session, Facilitating Economic Reforms

Nino Chokheli, the deputy head of the USAID Economic Governance Program, recently participated in an interview on the radio program Business Partner. During the discussion, she shared insights regarding the forthcoming adoption of the "Electronic Commerce" law in Georgia's spring session of Parliament, highlighting the law's significance and its potential to drive substantial economic reforms in the country.

During the interview, she provided a comprehensive overview of the draft law, which primarily focuses on two critical aspects: safeguarding the rights of consumers and business entities, and establishing clear guidelines for operators in the realm of electronic commerce. While Georgia has already enacted the Law on Consumer Rights in 2022, which covers general contractual rights in both offline and online settings, the new law will address specific aspects unique to e-commerce transactions.

Among the key areas covered by the proposed legislation are the protection of personal data, the establishment of electronic signature protocols, copyright protection, and ensuring secure payment systems. Chokheli highlighted the importance of an effective enforcement mechanism to ensure the law's practical implementation. Notably, the responsibility for enforcement will be entrusted to the competition agency, which will be governed by strict deadlines for handling applications and resolving disputes.

The anticipation surrounding the adoption of the "Electronic Commerce" law is substantial, with stakeholders eagerly awaiting its implementation. Chokheli emphasized that extensive consultations were held with all interested parties, striking a delicate balance between creating regulations that do not burden businesses excessively while ensuring the protection of consumer rights. The bill enjoys broad consensus, and the private sector is well-informed about the impending changes. Chokheli also addressed concerns about potential unintended consequences, assuring listeners that the law has been thoughtfully crafted to mitigate such risks.

The USAID Economic Governance Program has been instrumental in supporting electronic commerce reforms in Georgia, demonstrating the commitment to foster a thriving digital trade environment. The draft law has already undergone rigorous discussions and is currently in its second reading in Parliament, highlighting the progress made thus far.

The impending adoption of the "Electronic Commerce" law marks a significant milestone for Georgia's economic landscape. With a robust regulatory framework and an efficient enforcement mechanism in place, this legislation is set to empower consumers and businesses alike, stimulating economic growth and fostering a secure and dynamic e-commerce ecosystem in the country.