On 4 November 2021, the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO) issued two draft agreements relating to electronic commerce: the guidelines on the Ethical Code on Electronic Commerce (“Code of Ethics“) and the guidelines on the launch of the so-called “Distintivo Digital PROFECO“. The Code of Ethics seeks to establish a set of values and principles for online service providers to protect rights of consumers, promote a culture of responsible consumption, and protect human rights and vulnerable populations. The Distintivo Digital PROFECO, on the other hand, will act as a seal of confidence, with official recognition. Endorsed by PROFECO, it will be granted to online providers that, under PROFECO criteria, fully comply with consumer protection rules and the Code of Ethics.
Ethical Code on Electronic Commerce
The Code of Ethics is voluntary, as this agreement is an administrative act issued by PROFECO; however, if a company decides to follow it, it becomes mandatory for that company.
Virtual stores or electronic commerce platforms that express their adherence to this Code are committed to complying with the Code as regards e-commerce, advertising, data protection and human rights. Similarly, companies must act in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States and the international human rights treaties to which Mexico is member, as well as with the Federal Consumer Protection Law, in addition to complying with the Mexican Electronic Commerce Standard (NMX-COE-001-SCFI-2018).
The Code includes the following topics:
- payment, shipping and delivery identity mechanisms
- terms and conditions
- responsible digital advertising
- consumer data protection
- conflict resolution options
- protection of human rights for vulnerable groups
Distintivo Digital PROFECO: Digital trusted seal program
Requirements for the trusted seal:
- Submission of the application once the call for applications is opened (The call for applications opens every six months)
- Provision of proof of legal personality
- Applicant is a supplier with at least one year of operations, registered before the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Tax Status Certificate)
- Attendance in conciliation proceedings where the company is notified
- Adherence to the Code of Ethics for Electronic Commerce or, submission of the code of ethics that governs the company, which must meet minimum standards similar to the Code of Ethics and in which digital advertising and the protection of human rights of vulnerable groups are included
- Possession of a valid “https” security certificate for the virtual store website
Features and use of the digital trusted seal
The Digital Trusted Seal shall be visible on the upper right hand side of all electronic websites of the company, as well as on all hyperlinks associated with them or those directed from the main electronic website of the supplier. Likewise, it must be present on all websites that redirect to the purchase process.
The supplier will be subject to possible monitoring and surveillance by PROFECO.
Cancellation of the Digital Trusted Seal will result in the following cases: (1) non-compliance with the guidelines that regulate the Digital Trusted Seal (2) it will constitute evidence of having submitted false documentation (3) effecting changes to the address, company name or denomination without prior notice to the Federal Consumer Protection Agency, or (4) improper use of the Digital Trusted Seal.
If PROFECO orders the cancellation of the Digital Trusted Seal, the company will not be able to apply again within a period of one year.
For more information on the Guidelines regarding the Code of Ethics of Electronic Commerce and the PROFECO Digital Distinctive Seal, please visit the website of PROFECO, or feel free to contact us.