New laws are in force making it easier for businesses to provide cross-border services within the EEA.

The legislation, which came into force on 28 December 2009, allows businesses to provide temporary and occasional services in another member state on the basis of a licence granted by its home member state.

With reciprocal implementation of the directive by all member states, this should lead to further liberalisation of the market for services within the EU.

Some services are exempt, such as financial, audiovisual, health and social services, transport, executorship and notarial services.

A key feature is 'silent consent', where licences are automatically granted if the relevant local authority fails to make a decision on the application within a specified period.

There is also a 'uniform contact place' providing access to information about setting up and running the business, including help with the legal and administrative formalities. This will operate from 15 local trade offices.

There is also a new system for member states to recognise documents and licences obtained in other member states. This is expected to be implemented by means of a central electronic system providing administrative authorities with access to the information they need, such as trade registers and criminal records.

Law: Act No. 222/2009 Coll. on Free Movement of Services implementing Directive No. 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market dated 12 December 2006

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The original publication date for this article was 15/03/2010.