An understanding of E-commerce law in Cameroon: Disputes and Alternative dispute resolutions arising from electronic business transactions.

August 26, 2021


It was in the 2000s that the internet was first launched in Cameroon, ever since then, technology and the advancement of the internet has just been on an evolutionary ascent with online businesses which later lead to the promulgation of the Law N° 2010/021 of 21 December 2010 on Electronic Commerce of Cameroon.

The law is aimed at regulating commercial activities and transactions by electronic means. E-commerce has made lives simpler by making it possible to have what you need with a few clicks from the comfort of our homes. This game-changer is without demerits, reasons for the promulgation of the law.


  • Commercial Activity: Any activity for the production and exchange of goods and services carried out using electronic or material means, by any natural person or corporate body in accordance with the provisions of the law, regulations and conventions governing trade.
  • Electronic Commerce: A commercial activity whereby a person uses electronic means to supply or ensure the supply of goods and services.

  • Client: Any natural person or corporate body using electronic means to conduct business with a trader.
  • Consumer: Any natural person or corporate body benefiting from the services or using commercial products to satisfy his personal needs or those of his dependents.

  • Electronic Means of Payment: Means enabling its holders to carry out distance payments through telecommunications network.
  • Commercial Advertising: Information published using various media to make a product or service known, with the view of encouraging the public to buy or use it.
  • Electronic Signatory: The person who owns a signature generating device and who acts either in his personal name or as a representative of a natural person or corporate body.
  • Electronic Signature: Signature obtained by an asymmetrical encryption algorithm that helps to authenticate the sender of a message and verify the integrity thereof.

The use of the above terms shall be seen consistently perusing this article, in the c is very common when involving in electronic commercial transactions and contracts.


  • Law N°2010/021 of December 2010 on electronic commerce in Cameroon.
  • Law N°2016/007 of 12 July 2016 on the penal code of Cameroon.
  • Law N°2005 of 27th July 2005 on the Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon
  • Law N°2010/012 of 21 December 2010 relating to Cybersecurity and Cyber criminality in Cameroon.
  • OHADA Uniform act on Commercial activities


It is the internet based industry of buying and selling products or services via electronic means.

Law N° 2010/021 of 21 December 2010 on Electronic Commerce of Cameroon, Section 2 defines ecommerce as a commercial activity whereby a person uses electronic means to supply or ensure the supply of goods and services.

Moreover, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) further defines e-commerce as a new way of conducting business, qualifying it as business occurring over networks that use non-proprietary protocols that are established through an open standard setting process such as the internet.


E-commerce is becoming a game charger for the Cameroon economy and the future of Digital Cameroon. Hence, the state recognizes the vital role of information and communication tech in nation building, hence reasons for this law aim at:

  1. First, to regulate business activities on its application on the internet space.
  2. Facilitate domestic and international dealings, transactions, arrangements, agreements, contracts and negotiations and storage of information through the use of electronic and technology to recognize the authenticity and reliability of electronic data documents related to such activities in the use of electronic transactions.
  3. Protect the rights of individuals and business entities operating on the internet space in Cameroon.
  4. The law provides penalties for unlawful use of electronic commerce in Cameroon, hence shall punish all defaulters to this effect.

Hence, electronic commercial transactions are not different from traditional commercial sales. The only different lies in technology and the applicable laws.

While traditional commercial transactions are being regulated by the Uniform act relating to general commercial law, electronic commercial transaction in Cameroon are being regulated by law N°2010/021 of December 2010 on electronic commerce in Cameroon.


The stakeholders in e-commerce constitute the government, business entities, retailers & manufacturers, travel services and entertainment service provider,

While the enablers of e-commerce sector include; logistics providers, financial intermediaries, social networking sites, internet service providers call centers and network service providers.


Prior to the conclusion of an electronic commercial transaction and contract, the seller is bound through the process of the transaction, provide the consumer or client with the following information in a clear and concise manner:

  • The identity, address and telephone number of the seller or service provider,
  • A complete description of the states for the conduct of the transaction,
  • The nature, characteristic and price of the product,
  • The cost of delivery and where applicable, the insurance rates of the product and the required taxes.
  • The conditions of commercial guarantees and after sales services,
  • The payment conditions and procedures and where applicable, the proposed credit conditions,
  • The conditions and deadlines for delivery, execution of contract and breach of contract,
  • The procedure for confirming the order, returning the product and refund,
  • The conditions for termination of contract where it is signed for an unspecified period or a period of over one years,
  • Minimum contract period for contracts relating to long term supply of a good and services.

Hence, the above information must be provided by the seller electronically and put at the notice of the consumer or client for consultations at all stages of the transaction.

The seller shall allow and be able to give the consumer time to make a final statement of all its choices, confirm or modify the order as it may desire.

Once the consumer’s order is confirming, the contract shall be concluded by both parties on the date of acceptance of the order by the consumer through an electronic document signed and address and address to the consumer.

The seller shall have a period of 10 days with effect from the date of signature of the contract provide the consumer with an electronic document containing every detail of the sale operation.

Where a customer/client orders for a product and is not been delivered what he/she paid, such customer is liable for a refund by the seller.


Subject to the information provided by the seller at the disposal of the consumer prior to the conclusion of the transaction, the consumer may revoke its order within a period of 15 days:

  • For goods, shall be with effect from the date of conclusion of the contract.
  • For services, shall be with effect from the date of the conclusion of the contract.

The consumer’s revocation shall be by notice transmitted electronically or by substituted means. In a situation where the goods have not been damage by the consumer,

the seller shall be bound to refund the amount received within 15 days from the date of return of the goods or revocation of the service.


Contracts are binding obligations between parties in a transaction. Contracts signed by electronic means are no way different from the regime of written contracts.

The regime of written contracts shall apply to electronic contracts in terms of consent, legal effects, validity and implementation.

It is of note that the scope of contracts signed by electronic means within the Cameroon space has been limited and shall not include:

  • Contracts which create or transfer rights over immovable property except for renting rights,
  • Contracts for which the law requires the intervention of the court, public authorities or professions exercising public authority,
  • Contracts governed by family law or succession,
  • Surety and guaranteed contracts.

In situations where paper documents are required for the validity of a legal act, it may be issued and kept in an electronic form under the conditions stipulated in Sections 1317 et seq of the civil code, relating to written proof.


Offences and penalties in violation of contracts signed by electronic means of law N°2010/021 of December 2010 on electronic commerce in Cameroon are set forth in accordance with the Cameroon penal code.

These offences and penalties shall be implemented by established criminal investigation officer with general investigation,

sworn officers of the Ministries of telecommunication and advertising, the electronic regulation and certification authority as well as of economic control.

Every establish offence as well as evidence seized shall be transmitted to the competent state counsel within the jurisdiction the offence is been committed or with territorial jurisdiction.


  • Whoever, illegally uses the electronic signature of another, shall be punished per the provision and penalties set forth in Section 219 of the Cameroon Penal Code.
  • Whoever, is found guilty of breaching an electronic commercial transaction, and the provisions of section 15, 17, 19, 21, 24 and 25 of the law on Ecommerce in Cameroon shall be punished by the provision of Section 43 of the same Law.
  • Whoever, takes advantages of the weakness or ignorance of another to make him/her enter, through an electronic sale, into commitment in cash or credit in any form whatsoever, where it is proven that such a person is not capable of appreciating the extent of the commitment shall be punished per the provision and penalties set forth in Section 349 of the Cameroon Penal Code.
  • Any violation of the provisions of Section 9 (on contracts signed by electronic means) and Section 10 of Law N°2010/021 of December 2010 on electronic commerce in Cameroon, shall be punished with the penalties set forth in section 37 and 38 of the Law N° 90/31 of 10th August 1990 governing commercial activity.


Electronic commercial transaction and any contract signed by electronic means are regulated in Cameroon by law N°2010/021 of December 2010 on electronic commerce in Cameroon.

The law in place regulates business activities of individuals and business entities trading online in Cameroon.

Any violation to this effect is been punished by the provisions of SECTION 41 TO 46 of Law N°2010/021 of December 2010 on electronic commerce in Cameroon and the Cameroon Penal Code.

With the advancement of technology, ecommerce in Cameroon is facing a lot of challenges as a result of cybercrimes such as scam, financial cybercrime etc.

The Cameroon authorities in this regards have put in places laws to punish any one involve in such activities.

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