The Provision of Services Regulations 2009

The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 apply to all businesses operating in a services sector, with important exclusions. They operate on the principle of ‘if you’re not specifically excluded, you’re in’, so examining the list of excluded sectors below may clarify what is in scope.

The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 implement Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on services in the internal market (OJ No. L 376, 27.12.2006, p.36) (the 'Services Directive'). The regulations apply to all organisations, including online businesses operating in a services sector, for example recruitment, storage and transport services.

See E RADAR's Briefing on the Services Directive.

Affect on businesses

The Regulations apply to service providers offering or providing services in the UK, both providers of UK origin and those from other EEA states. The Regulations apply whether the provider has a UK establishment from which the service is provided (as in Part 3 of the Regulations) or is established in another EEA state and comes to the UK temporarily or operates remotely (as in Part 4). Part 2, Duties on service providers, applies to all service providers offering or providing relevant services in the UK regardless of where they are established (i.e. they can be based anywhere in the world). You do not have to be doing business outside the UK to fall within the remit of the Regulations, or to benefit from them.


Definition of a service

A service is an economic activity normally provided for remuneration and which is not a contract for employment. This activity could be industrial, or commercial in nature, a craft or the activity of a profession. “Remuneration” should be interpreted broadly, for example, money or payment in kind (but excluding wages/salaries). A service can be business-to-business or business-to-individual activity. Services which are not provided for remuneration are not covered by the Directive. For example, non-remunerated house to house collections for charity are not within scope.

Services where the regulations apply

  • Business services: management consultancy; professional services such as lawyers, accountants and actuaries; advertising; certification and testing; facilities management, including office maintenance; fitting and maintenance of equipment; renting of equipment; logistics; waste management; training providers; and the services of commercial agents.
  • Services provided to both business and to consumers: estate agents and letting agents; conveyancing; construction services such as architects and builders; restaurants and catering services; distributive trades; postal services; storage services; financial advisers; and the organisation of trade fairs.
  • Consumer services: tourism, including tour operators and tour guides; travel agents; leisure services and sports centres; child minders; amusement parks; private schools and universities; providers of post graduate studies, language schools, vocational training; driving instructors; MOT services; entertainment; beauty services; veterinarians; gardeners; cleaners; plumbers; joiners; and electricians

Services where the regulations do not apply

  • Financial services, such as banking, credit, insurance and re-insurance, occupational and personal pensions, securities, investment funds, payment and investment advice.
  • Electronic communications services and networks, and associated facilities and networks, including telephone and electronic mail services.
  • Transport including air transport, maritime and inland waterways transport, including port services, as well as road and rail transport, in particular urban transport, taxis and ambulances.
  • Services of temporary work agencies.
  • Healthcare services, whether or not they are provided via healthcare facilities, and regardless of the ways in which they are organised and financed at national level, or whether they are public or private.
  • Audiovisual services, including cinemas and broadcast services.
  • Gambling services, which involve wagering a stake for monetary value in a game of chance, including lotteries, gambling in casinos and betting transactions.
  • Social services relating to social housing, childcare and the support of families in need, where these are provided by the State, by providers mandated by the State or by charities recognised as such by the State. The Government’s view is that housing services provided on a charitable basis by Registered Social Landlords are out of scope of the Directive. Services provided on a commercial basis by registered charitable organisations or their trading subsidiaries are, however, in scope of the Directive.
  • Private security services.
  • Notaries and bailiffs

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The Provision of Services Regulations 2009