The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published its September update on the progress towards implementation of the EU Services Directive (2006/123/EU).
The Services Directive aims to make it easier for service providers to offer their services to customers in other EU countries, whether by providing services remotely from their home territory or by establishing in another EU country. The Directive also places additional obligations on some service providers to give certain information to their customers about their services. The deadline for implementation of the Directive is 28 December 2009. The Services Regulations will implement the Directive in the UK but currently they are still in draft form.
There is one item of particular interest in the Government’s September update relating to Article 21 of the Directive. Article 21 requires an online portal to be established via which consumers can obtain information about their rights when buying services in other member states and their means of redress if things go wrong. The aim is to help consumers make more informed choices when considering buying services from elsewhere in Europe and make it easier for them to widen their choice of suppliers. BIS has announced that the Trading Standards Institute has been chosen to operate this portal, which is expected to go live by the implementation deadline. Details of the website address will be released just prior to this date.