On 17 July 2020, the FCA issued a new web page stating that at the end of the transition period, the exclusion from host state regulation for e-commerce activities provided from one EEA state to a person in another EEA state under the Electronic Commerce Directive (eCommerce Directive) will fall away.
In the UK, the relevant provisions that transpose this exclusion are in:
- Article 72A of the Financial Services and Markets Act (Regulated Activity) Order 2001.
- Article 20B of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005.
- Some elements of the Electronic Commerce Directive (Financial Services and Markets) Regulations 2002.
The FCA states that UK firms should:
- Decide on their approach to servicing existing consumers.
- Take the steps available to them to continue to service consumers in accordance with local law and local regulators’ expectations
In all circumstances firms should provide timely and fair, clear and not-misleading information to their customers.
The FCA also states that EEA-based firms wishing to continue doing new regulated e-commerce business in the UK need to consider whether they require UK authorisation, and if so should consider the timing and other implications of applying for permission. EEA-based firms wishing only to wind down their e-commerce business that falls within the exclusion, and that was entered into before the end of the transition period, will be able to do so under the provisions in Part 4 of the Electronic Commerce and Solvency 2 (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.