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Does your organisation need a DSA representative?
Who must appoint a legal representative in accordance with the DSA?
The Digital Services Act encompasses a broad range of intermediary services, including but not limited to, internet access providers, social media platforms, online retail platforms, and search engines. This regulation extends to entities involved in providing access, caching, and hosting services. This includes not only major technology corporations but also smaller firms and individual Wi-Fi network operators.
Providers of these services, who operate outside the European Union but cater to users within the EU, are required by Article 13 Digital Services Act to designate a legal representative within one of the EU member states where they offer their services. This representative will act as a point of contact for European Union authorities and may be held responsible for any non-compliance or infractions committed by the service provider.
If a service provider from outside the European Union fails to comply with the requirement to appoint a representative under the Digital Services Act, they could face penalties of up to 6% of their annual global revenue. Ensuring compliance is straightforward; the service provider is required to provide the Digital Services Coordinator with the contact details of its EU legal representative. In addition, the details of this legal representative must be made available to the public.
How it works
Responsibilities of the DSA legal representative
The designated legal representative is liable for any failure to comply with the requirements of the DSA, irrespective of any legal action that may be taken directly against the service operators themselves.
Service providers are required to provide the Digital Service Coordinator (DSC) of the EU Member State in which the designated legal representative is located with the full name, physical address, e-mail address and telephone number of the designated legal representative.
It is also essential that this information is kept up to date. It's important to note that appointing a legal representative in the EU does not constitute establishing a commercial presence in the EU.
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FAQ about the Digital Services Act
What is the Digital Services Act?
The Digital Services Act (DSA) is part of a comprehensive set of regulations aimed at creating a safer digital space where the fundamental rights of users are protected. It applies to a wide range of digital services, including online intermediaries and platforms like social networks, online marketplaces, content-sharing platforms, and more. The DSA's primary focus is on ensuring user safety online, protecting fundamental rights, and maintaining a fair and open online platform environment.
What is the difference between the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act?
While both the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) are part of the same legislative package, they serve different purposes. The DSA focuses on protecting users' fundamental rights in the digital space and applies to a broad category of digital services. In contrast, the DMA targets gatekeeper platforms, which are large online platforms with a systemic role in the internal market. The DMA aims to prevent these gatekeepers from imposing unfair conditions on businesses and consumers, fostering a more competitive and fair digital market.
What is the fine for the EU Digital Services Act?
Failure to comply with the EU Digital Services Act can result in significant fines. While the exact fine can vary depending on the specific nature and severity of the infringement, it is generally understood that fines can be as high as 6% of the annual global turnover of the company concerned. This significant penalty underlines the EU's commitment to enforcing the rules set out in the DSA and emphasises the importance of compliance for all digital service providers operating in the EU.
Is the EU Digital Services Act in force?
Yes, the Digital Services Act came into force on 16 November 2022. It will be directly applicable across the EU and will apply fifteen months after entry into force or from 1 January 2024, whichever is later.
What is the Digital Services Act 2024?
The Digital Services Act 2024 refers to the full application of the DSA across the EU, which is scheduled to happen from 1 January 2024. This act represents a significant step in regulating digital services within the EU, focusing on user safety, fundamental rights protection, and fair competition in the digital market.
For further details, you can visit the official EU DSA website.