Using website T&Cs for customers in the EU

Would your website templates (T&Cs, cookies, privacy) be legal and comprehensive for use on a website with customers in the EU or do I need customised versions?

I’m developing a website for a client who is manufacturing and marketing APIs and generic pharmaceuticals for sale in a number of European nations (not the UK).  I’m concerned to get the legal bits right, and am unsure whether we need medical disclaimers as well as the usual policies.  If you can give me any advice at all, that would be great.  Thank you.

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Alasdair Taylor's Answer

All of our template legal documents, including the website legal documents, are English law documents. In other words, where legal compliance is an issue, they are designed to aid compliance with English law. Insofar as they are contractual documents, they are designed – and expressed – to be governed by English law. Moreover, they reflect the drafting practices and standards of lawyers working in England.

The relevant areas of law here are partially harmonised within the EU:

  • ecommerce law is largely harmonised
  • data protection law is largely harmonised
  • copyright law is partially harmonised
  • contract law is mostly unharmonised
I’m not sure the extent to which laws relating to the sale of pharmaceuticals are harmonised, but in any case none of our documents are designed to take account of these laws.

It follows that documents prepared under another EU legal system would share many characteristics with our documents but would also differ in some material respects.

The extent to which the laws of the other EU jursidictions will apply is not clear from the information provided. While EU data protection law will likely apply in one form or another, it may be that English rules of contract interpretation could apply, notwithtstanding that customers are elsewhere in the EU.

In summary: (i) you should not rely upon our documents ensuring full compliance or appropriate risk managment in these circumstances (although tbh, you should never really rely upon templates for this); and (ii) I recommend that you speak to a lawyer about this.

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