E-commerce marketplaces jointly and severally liable; due diligence requirements
Belgium is considering a proposal to make digital platforms and marketplaces jointly and severally liable for their third-party sellers B2C transactions. This could take effect from 1 January 2024 in a Bill being drawn up.
Belgium would impose due diligence requirements on facilitating intermediaries, such as validating appropriate VAT numbers and compliance by online merchants selling to Belgian consumers. On this basis, and ensuring fair principles of proportionality, the marketplace would only be liable if it was shown to be negligent in undertaking basic checks on the propriety of sellers on its platform.
The liabilities would only apply to sales not affected by the 2021 e-commerce package rules. This imposed the deemed supplier obligations onto marketplaces for non-resident merchants selling to Belgian consumers.
The EU ViDA package will potentially extend the deemed supplier VAT obligations to more marketplace transactions from 2025.