In July 2019, Russian Supreme Court adopted a ruling providing the general guidance on consumer protection issues in e-commerce sector. In particular the ruling clarifies the criteria for determining whether a foreign online store targets consumers residing in Russia and thus must comply with Russian consumer protection legislation. Previously Russian law did not contain any clear guidance on this, segmental clarifications were provided in court practice which is not mandatory in Russia.
Now the ruling says that these criteria include:
- Maintaining a website in Russian language
- Listing prices in Russian rubles
- Indicating contact phone numbers with Russian codes or similar indications of targeting Russian audience (e.g. when the website owner orders the services to increase the rate of citation of the website among Russian users)
If any of these criteria is revealed in case of a dispute, the court may apply Russian imperative consumer protection rules even if the agreement with a consumer is subject to any foreign (other than Russian) governing law.