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CAFIA informs operators and consumers of rules of Internet sale inspected also within European scope


In relation to the COVID-19 disease outbreak and the emergency state, the number of e-shops offering foodstuffs as well as the number of business persons who extended their business by selling goods online significantly increased.

Foodstuffs sold over the Internet – e-shops, social networks, etc. – are associated with the necessity to keep rules of which aim is in particular to protect consumers against unsafe foodstuffs and unfair business practices. With regard to the fact that selling food online is a new situation for many operators and they might not be aware of certain obligations, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) released document “Selling food online – Basic requirements demanded on food business operators”. Operators can find here, in one place, the main obligations specific for the sale of foodstuffs over the Internet, and this document may significantly help them to prevent unintentional violation of obligations. The document is available on the CAFIA websites in Section Entrepreneurs/Online sales.

Main obligations of operators selling food online are, inter alia, as follows:

  • to place safe foodstuffs on the market only
  • to provide consumers with information on the offered foodstuffs which can be obtained in “ordinary” retail, namely on the food labelling or shelf label
  • to provide his/her identification – to provide information on the e-shop operator including contacts
  • to make the trade terms available
  • to respect consumers’ rights and not to use unfair business practices
  • to register at CAFIA, which also applies to already registered operators in the case they did not include Internet sale into the list of activities (registration can be performed via the form on the CAFIA websites).

These and further obligations are explained in detail in the above mentioned document.

On its websites, CAFIA also released documents which may help consumers with orientation in their rights during purchasing foodstuffs online and which provide basic information of the obligations of sellers. The list of risky websites operated from abroad, with an unknown operator or violating legislation is also available here. 

Since the beginning of this year, CAFIA has performed c. 900 inspections of Internet sale at 545 inspected persons. CAFIA also participated, inter alia, in the European co-ordinated inspection activity of which aim is to punish operators of e-shops and advertising websites misusing present situation and assigning foodstuffs (food supplements in particular) with positive often unreal effects against coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. Compliant to the European legislation, medical or preventive effects must not be assigned to foodstuffs as they are reserved to medicaments only. Concurrent results of the European co-ordinated inspection activity are available on the websites of the European Commission. CAFIA releases results of these inspections in the CR on regular basis in its press releases of: 27. 3. 2020, 19. 3. 2020, 8. 4. 2020, 17. 4. 2020, 11. 5. 2020, 26. 5. 2020, 12. 6. 2020 and 5. 11. 2020.


Article by: Mgr. Pavel Kopřiva – CAFIA Spokesperson, phone: + 420 542 426 633  

4th December 2020