Selling online and the law

Provision of Services Regulations

The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 removed many of the barriers to the international trade in services with the aim of making it easier for individuals and businesses to provide services to, or from, anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA).

UK and EEA authorities can no longer make the access to, or the carrying out of, a service subject to an authorisation scheme or requirement unless it can be objectively justified. Businesses can also access a 'Point of Single Contact' in each EEA country where they can securely apply for any authorisations they require in order to trade in that country.

Under the regulations almost all service providers offering services in the UK (including those from other EEA countries) are required to provide certain information to the recipients of their services. For an explanation of what is required, see provide consumers with contract information.

You must also make sure you do not discriminate on the grounds of nationality or location when providing services. The exceptionis when it can be justified by 'objective criteria' - for example, increased transport costs when providing a service internationally.