Special InTAX: December 2023 Issue 1 | Volume 1

InTAX is an official publication of R.G. Manabat & Co.'s Tax Group

InTAX is an official publication of R.G. Manabat & Co.'s Tax Group

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special intax

Office of the President

On 5 December 2023, Republic Act (RA) No. 11967 or the “Internet Transactions Act of 2023” was signed into law by the President. Any person who engages in electronic commerce (E-Commerce), who avails of the Philippine market, establishing minimum contracts in the Philippines, shall be subject to applicable Philippine laws and regulations and cannot evade legal liability despite lack of legal presence in the country. This law also ensures that those who engages in e-commerce shall not enjoy any beneficial treatment nor be placed at a disadvantage as compared to enterprises that offer goods and services offline in the Philippines.

RA No. 11967 applies to all business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) internet transactions within the mandate of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) where one of the parties is situated in the Philippines or where the digital platform, e-retailer or online merchant is availing of the Philippine market and has minimum contracts therein. The coverage does not include online media content and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions.

Other salient provisions of the law are as follows:

  • To protect online consumers and merchants engaged in internet transactions, RA No. 11967 provides for the creation of the E-Commerce Bureau (including its composition, functions, and referral and tracking of complaints), the establishment of an Online Business Database (OBD), and the development of an E-Commerce Philippine Trustmark to provide assurance of safety and security in internet transactions.
  • RA No. 11967 also provides for: (a) the regulatory jurisdiction of DTI (as to the use of internet for conducting e-commerce by e-marketplaces, online merchants, e-retailers, digital platforms, and third-party platforms); (b) the rights, obligations and liabilities of parties in internet transactions; (c) the right to claim damages before the court or the DTI that will still be governed by the Civil Code of the Philippines; (d) the applicable administrative fines that the DTI may impose as penalty for the acts and omissions specified in Section 29 this law; and (e) the creation of the Congressional Oversight Committee to monitor and ensure proper implementation of this law.

The implementing rules and regulations of RA No. 11967 shall be promulgated within 90 days from the effectivity of this law. A transitory period of 18 months (reckoned from the effectivity of this law) is also provided to all affected online merchants, e-retailers, e-marketplaces and digital platforms to comply with the requirements of this law.

Attached is a full text of RA No. 11967 for your reference.

(RGM&Co. Note: The RA will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette on 5 December 2023 (date uploaded), or on 20 December 2023.)

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