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EC Internal Trade

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment his Department has made of the effect on local authority (a) trading standards, (b) licensing, (c) e-government and (d) environmental health functions of implementation of the EU Services Directive. (270247)

The effect of implementation of the directive was assessed in an independent report commissioned by the former DTI when it was being negotiated, which can be found at

www.berr.gov.uk/files/file27515.pdf,

and BERR also published an impact assessment of its proposals for implementation in November 2007, but these assessments were not broken down into categories that correlate to the question. A revised impact assessment will be published in May this year and a final version will be published later this year.

BERR’s assessment is that the most significant impact of the directive on local authorities will be to enable users to apply electronically and remotely for licences and authorisations in scope of the directive (including those that local authorities administer) through a Point of Single Contact (PSC) the Government are required to establish.

The PSC is being funded by BERR and delivered by Business Link. It will include provision for a central application process that local authorities can use, but will also enable them to utilise their own online facilities where these exist.

While the directive is likely to result in a minor increase to the consumer regulations that trading standards officers are able to enforce under the Enterprise Act 2002, it is not expected that this will result in any consequential increase in trading standards activity.