Good news for those who want to start an online shop for the entire Benelux: according to a research by national consumer watchdogs of Belgium, the Netherland and Luxembourg there are no major differences in legislation about e-commerce between the three countries.
Purchase-money and cooling-off period
The differences are quite small, mostly because the regulations for online shops are based on European guidelines. There can however be differences in interpretation when those guidelines are transformed in national regulations, but those seem smaller than expected in the three areas that got a closer look: terms and conditions, right of withdrawal and disclosure requirements.
Concerning terms and conditions the three countries had the same regulations, except for the amount a webshop can demand with an order. According to Belgian and Luxembourg regulations the retailer can demand the complete amount before delivery, whereas in the Netherlands an option to pay at least half of the amount after delivery has to be present.
Also about the right of withdrawal there are almost no differences, except about the legal cooling-off period: in the Netherlands and Luxembourg you have seven working days to return an item, in Belgium you get fourteen days. When talking about disclosure requirements (price including delivery, specifications of the product, right of withdrawal and the address of the retailer) there are no difference between the three countries.
To inform consumers as well as retailers about their rights and obligations, the three countries have each made a practical guide. They can be found on the websites of the Belgian Ministry of Economy, the Dutch Consumer Authority and the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy and International Trade.