Internet service providers (ISPs) are calling on the Government to clarify their rights and responsibilities under the UK interpretation of the European E-Commerce Directive.
The e-commerce regulations will govern the UK implementation of the directive, which comes into force on 21 August.
The directive aims to safeguard consumer rights for those doing business over the internet across the boundaries of European countries.
But trade body the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has said that greater clarity is needed on provisions that govern providers' liability for unlawful information which they unwittingly carry or store.
Nicholas Lansman, secretary general at the ISPA UK, said: "It is crucial for the development of the UK internet industry that the E-Commerce Directive is accurately interpreted and implemented by the UK Government.
"Formal procedures governing the removal of illegal material (notice and takedown) need to be developed to further clarify the rights and responsibilities of service providers."
Drafts of the directive had originally suggested that providers of online services should be subject to the laws of the European Union member state where a complaint is made.
This has been amended in the final version to give UK e-commerce service providers the legal certainty that they will only be subject to UK law.
Under the directive companies selling over the internet must give consumers information about discounts and offers, the return of goods and how to conclude contracts online.
Implementation of the directive in the UK was delayed from January this year to allow for public consultation. Guidance on adhering to the regulations is available on the Department of Trade and Industry's website here.
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