As of 21 August 2002, the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 have been mostly in force. All those involved in digital marketing and selling should be taking immediate action to ensure compliance.
Who: The Department of Trade and Industry
When: July 2002
As Spain becomes only the 6th EU country to implement the EU E-commerce Directive, (despite the 16th January 2002 deadline set by the Directive itself), the UK is still struggling to give the Directive the force of law. We have already reported elsewhere on marketinglaw on the detailed provisions of the E-commerce Directive as they impact on commercial communications. Probably the most important provisions of the directive for the marketing industry are those dealing with commercial e-mail and in particular the requirement that, if unsolicited, such messages should be recognisable as a commercial message immediately on receipt. At the time of writing, word from the DTI is that the final regulations are expected to be put in front of the Minister for signing within the next few weeks so that by the end of August the regulations will be in place.
Why this matters:
The up and coming Communications Data Protection Directive, due to have the force of law in the UK by the end of 2003, will have further impact in this area, but for the moment these imminent E-commerce Regulations are something UK marketers should be watching out for, taking advice if they are unclear as to their impact.