Directive is a legal objective set by the European Union, that all member states must reach through state laws and regulations.

What is a directive?

In the EU law, a Directive is an objective that has to be reached by all EU countries within a given period. However, it is up to the individual countries to design the laws that will lead to the fulfillment of the directive. Hence, a directive is different from an EU regulation. EU regulations must be applied within EU state laws directly - they cannot be achieved by various means.

Why are Directives necessary?

Directives are important for several reasons. Firstly, as a business, you will be forced to comply with laws that strive to fulfill a directive. Hence, it would be advantageous to know what laws you might expect in advance and how they will affect your business. Furthermore, because the laws that serve directives can be different from country to country, it is crucial to watch out for the laws within the country where your business is based.

Do Directives affect businesses directly?

Directives are very versatile; some directives can affect your industry directly and have no effect on other industries. For example, the EU Toy Directive focuses on the production and sales of safe toys. If your company designs toys, the EU Toy Directive is likely to affect several of your processes. On the other hand, if you manufacture cars, the EU Toy Directive does not concern you.

However, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive can affect both a toy company and a car manufacturer. Because the RoHS Directive focuses on restricting hazardous substances in electronic and electrical devices, which can be found in both toys and cars, this directive applies to multiple industries. Other directives affect many businesses, such as the EU Consumer Right Directive, and some might not affect businesses at all.

There is, however, a set of directives that will affect all companies - a directive concerning consumer privacy and data privacy on the internet - ePrivacy Directive. Because the ePrivacy Directive focuses on websites, and those are an essential part of businesses these days, nearly all businesses will be affected by the directive. And keeping track of how to collect, process, and use data in compliance with new laws can be challenging.

How can you track new Directives?

There are two ways to track when new directives are adopted and what they state. The first is personally keeping track of all published EU statements, documents and announcements. The second and much easier option is having a business partner that would help you keep on track and informing you when new directives will have an affect on your business. There is however a set of directives that will affect all businesses - directives concerning consumer privacy and data privacy on the internet. A website is an essential part of business these days and keeping track of how to collect, process and use data in compliance with new laws can be challenging.

If you would like to know how your website can become legally compliant, feel free to contact us. We would be thrilled to help your business.

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