Service Activity

Service Activity in Europe

General requirements not affecting access to or exercise of a service activity in relation to the E.U. Services Directive

The following is an examination of general requirements not affecting access to or exercise of a service activity regarding the European Union Servicies Directive [1]:

General requirements not affecting access to or exercise of a service activity: Requirements covered

As explained in Recital 9, the Services Directive does not apply to those requirements which do not specifically regulate or specifically affect the service activity but have to be respected by providers in the course of carrying out their economic activity in the same way as by individuals acting in their private capacity. This means that, for example, road traffic rules, rules concerning the development or use of land, town and country planning as well as building standards will generally not be affected by the Services Directive. However, it is clear that the mere fact that rules are labelled in a specific way, for example as town planning rules, or that requirements are formulated in a general way, i.e. are not specifically addressed to service providers, is not sufficient to determine that they are outside of the scope of the Services Directive. In fact, the actual effect of the requirements in question needs to be assessed to determine whether they are of a general nature or not. Thus, when implementing the Directive, Member States need to take account of the fact that legislation labelled as “town planning” or “building standards” may contain requirements which specifically regulate service activities and are thus covered by the Services Directive. For instance, rules on the maximum surface of certain commercial establishments, even when contained in general urban planning laws, would come under the Services Directive and, as a result, will be covered by the obligations in the establishment chapter of the Directive.

Resources

Notes

  1. Information on general requirements not affecting access to or exercise of a service activity based on the EU Services Directive Handbook, UK Government

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