The recent publication by the European Commission of a number of updated Brexit stakeholder notices are a timely reminder for organisations to check that their websites will be ready in the event of a no-deal Brexit at the end of the transition period. For example, if you operate a website:
- are you currently using a .eu domain and will you be able to continue doing so at the end of the transition period? There are over 140,000 UK based registrants of .eu domain names and, following the end of the transition period, organisations established solely in the UK will no longer be able to hold a .eu domain (see our recent blog and the EU notice for more information);
- do you know which laws you must follow once the E-commerce Directive’s ‘country of origin’ principle no longer applies (see the EU notice)? The country of origin principle provides that a website operator is only subject to the laws of the EU member state in which it is established, rather than the various laws of the EU member states where its services are provided (subject to certain exemptions and restrictions). This means additional local laws may apply to the operation of your business following the end of the transition period;
- will the geoblocking rules still apply to your website by virtue of their extra-territorial reach (they apply to all ‘traders’ operating within the EU, regardless of where they are established)? The UK Government has confirmed that the rules will no longer apply in UK law following the end of the transition period, but has reminded UK businesses that sell certain goods and services into the EU that they will still not be able to discriminate between customers in different EU countries (e.g. by selling goods at a higher price in Germany than in Spain) after 31 December 2020 – see the EU and UK notices for more information; and
- will you need to update your privacy policies in light of the UK being a ‘third country’ for GDPR purposes?
Our previous client publication ‘Is your website Brexit ready’ discusses the points above, and provides some practical guidance on the steps organisations can take now to prepare.