From 28th December 2009 service providers will have to publish more information to clients and potential clients as a result of the UK implementing the EU’s Services Directive (Provision of Services Regulations 2009). The aim is to help service providers in cross border EU trade by providing a single point of contact for regulatory matters in all EU Countries but as a consequence opens up the UK market to all EU Country service providers and imposes obligations on UK services providers.
If you are a provider of services you must make the following information available to your customers:
Your name, legal status and geographical address (together with telephone or email details – or other methods by which you may be contacted “rapidly” and “directly”). If you are registered in a trade or similar public register, the name of that register and your registration number. Particulars of any regulator if you are subject to an authorisation scheme in the UK or any other Country in the European Economic Area (EEA) (EU plus other Countries in this group). Your VAT number, if registered. Any professional body or similar institution to which you are registered, your professional title and the Country in the EEA in which that title was granted. Your general terms and conditions, the existence of terms concerning the competent courts and the law applicable to any services provided, the existence of any guarantees not imposed by law, the price of the services, where this is fixed or pre-determined, the main features of the service, if not clear from the context of the instructions. If you are obliged to carry professional indemnity insurance then you must provide information about your cover, contact details for the insurer and territorial coverage. Finally you must include contact details where customers can lodge complaints about your services.
Most businesses already provide all this information as “good practice” but it is worth just checking your terms and website content to ensure you comply. More guidance is available from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/europeandtrade/europe/services-directive/legislation/page51283.html.
There are some service businesses that are exlcuded from compliance (including those providing financial services, credit, insurance, electronic communications, transport and healthcare).