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Online shoppers to get more protection
Lawmakers are deliberating the trade bill, which includes stipulations on online shopping to provide shoppers with more protection.
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JAKARTA - A few years ago, Listiyorini, an employee with a Jakarta-based private firm, ordered several imported books via a local online shop. The online shop promised to send the books within one month, at the latest. However, after one month the books had not arrived at her specified address.

The avid online shopper tried to contact the shop via its Twitter account and phone number to no avail.

She considered going to the shop's address stated on its website, but her limited free time made the plan unfeasible. She also planned to report the case to the police, but later opted not to do so.

Similar incidents may have been experienced by other online shoppers who, like Listiyorini, did not know what to do.

Responding to the growing number of online transactions, lawmakers are now deliberating the trade bill, which includes stipulations on online shopping to provide shoppers with more protection.

The trade bill, which also regulates e-commerce, is scheduled for endorsement at the end of this month.

With a consumer protection approach, the bill will authorise any dispute settlements between traders and shoppers through the courts or other mechanisms.

"There will be technical regulations that further manage e-commerce and they will be synchronised with the Information and Electronic Transaction Law," said Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi.

The arrangement of e-commerce is one of the new trade issues that the House of Representatives and the government are trying to address in the bill. Consisting of 16 chapters and 79 articles, the bill aims to regulate the domestic trade system, standardization of goods and services, international trade and trade remedies to cope with the current challenges pertaining to trade.

The bill will soon become the nation's first ever integrated trade law, replacing four previous regulations pertaining to trade: the 1934 Ordonantie on enterprise of distribution, the 1961 Law on goods, the 1962 Law on goods under supervision and the 1965 Law on warehousing.

Article 57 of the bill requires persons or firms trading through the electronic system to provide customers with accurate and complete information.

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