Brasil will ban ecommerce from its retail and wholesale sectors from December 1, 2012, the country’s commerce minister said on Tuesday, saying ecommerce is not only harming the economy, but also public health and the environment.
The move was announced on Twitter by commerce minister Jose Luis Almeida, who called ecommerce a “very serious problem” that could be “completely stopped”.
The government has also imposed a two-year moratorium on ecommerce.
Almeida said the ban will be effective immediately.
“I would like to reiterate that this ban will not impact any private companies or any foreign companies,” he said.
“It will be implemented with the utmost care and by the most responsible way possible.”
Almeid added that Brazil is a world leader in ecommerce, with more than 100 million ecommerce transactions annually.
He also announced a two year moratorium on any new retail stores, but the ban is still expected to take effect at the end of next year.
“If we are able to reach this agreement with the retailers, we will have a better situation,” he told reporters.
“We will be able to start to open stores,” he added.
“There is a lot of activity in the retail sector.”
Almesida also said that ecommerce was “one of the most harmful industries” because it “is harmful to public health” and “is not only damaging to the economy but also to the environment”.
The ecommerce ban was first announced by the Brazilian government in April 2012, after ecommerce firms filed complaints with the Brazilian state agency for the regulation of ecommerce and the protection of consumers.
It has since been extended to a wider area, covering more than 150 companies, including online retailers, clothing retailers, fashion and furniture retailers, supermarkets, pharmacies and pharmacies.
The decision is likely to face fierce opposition in Brazil, where many of the ecommerce companies have already had to shut down or move out of Brazil.
The eCommerce Act was passed in March 2013 by the countrys senate and approved by the lower house of Congress.
The legislation requires retailers to register and pay fees to the government, which then sets tariffs on eCommerce goods.
It also requires online retailers to provide customers with clear information about the products that they sell.
The government aims to ban online retailers from selling “illegal” products, which are not listed on Brazilian retailers’ websites, as well as products that have been advertised as “legitimate”.
The law also requires that eCommerce retailers sell the same products on at least one website in each country where they operate.
In August 2014, the Brazilian Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that the country should not require eCommerce firms to register, as the companies were not selling goods legally and thus did not need to be registered.
“Ecommerce is a dangerous industry that is not allowed in Brazil,” Almeid said in a statement on Monday.
“I would not allow such a dangerous activity.”