In terms of e-commerce in Brunei, according to Rozaiman Rahman, Managing Partner at ZICO R.A.R.,
“we currently have credit cards and interbank transfers as a platform in e-commerce activities where banks are quite conventional and credit card use is quite popular. Aside from that, we do not have FinTech, but we believe that FinTech will turn up in Brunei soon.“
Governing legislation/ framework
There is no legislation on E-commerce activities in Brunei. Common law rules apply to all commerce activities. The Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (which replaces the Authority Monetary of Brunei Darussalam) provides by-laws and notices pursuant to their inherent powers under the Authority Monetary Brunei Darussalam Order 2010.
The Brunei Darussalam Central Bank regulates the requirements for payment systems.
Licensing & market entry requirements
Generally, there are no restrictions on the types of E-commerce entities that could be set up in Brunei. Internet Content Providers (“ICPs”) in Brunei are regulated by the Broadcasting Act.
Foreign equity restrictions
A foreign entity is not prohibited from setting up a company in Brunei. However, certain restrictions apply to foreign direct investment in particular sectors (i.e., oil and gas).
Payment solutions, foreign exchange administration and merchant acquiring services
- Payment solutions: Currently only credit cards are the only mode of E-commerce payment in Brunei.
- Foreign exchange administration: There are no restrictions for local currency to be used for E-commerce platforms.
- Merchant acquiring services: There is no specific legislation on merchant acquiring services. However, the Brunei Darussalam Central Bank pursuant to the Authority Monetary Brunei Darussalam Order 2010, has issued a Notice No. PSO/N-1/2020/1 on “Requirements for Payment Systems”. In this Notice, “merchant acquiring services” is defined as any service of accepting and processing a payment transaction for a merchant under a contract between the provider of the service and the merchant, which results in a transfer of money to the merchant pursuant to the payment transaction, regardless of whether the provider of the service comes into possession of any money in respect of the payment transaction.
There is no single system of product liability law in Brunei. The terms of contract entered into between parties will govern the transaction.
The only protection given to consumers is a protection for Fair Trading under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Order, 2011. Unfair Practice means “it is an unfair practice for a supplier, in relation to a consumer transaction:- (a) to do or say anything, or omit to do or say anything, if as a result, a consumer might reasonably be deceived or misled; (b) make a false claim; (c) to take advantage of a consumer if the supplier knows or ought reasonably to known that the consumer is not in a position to protect his own interests or is not reasonably able to understand the characters, nature, language or effect of the transaction”.
For more information about e-commerce across ASEAN, download the comparative guide, ASEAN Insiders: Electronic Commerce in ASEAN.