The German Regulation on Services Information Duties (DL-InfoV)
entered into force on 17 May 2010, implementing the EU Services
Regulation 20067123/EC (DL-RL) into German law. However, the
resulting duties to provide information have been disregarded in
practice for the most part.
The party obliged to provide information is the party providing
services, which can be a natural or a legal person. Services in the
sense of the EU Services Regulation include distributive trade
services, construction, installation and craftsmen's services,
freelance services and business-related services (Art. 4(1) DL-RL
in conjunction with Art. 57 Treaty on the functioning of the
European Union (TFEU) – ex Art. 50 Treaty of the European
Union (TEU)). Although the circle of services providers is a broad
one, various branches and activities are excluded from the scope of
application, e.g. audio-visual services, gambling, health services
and certain financial services. The decisive aspect for the
existence of an obligation to provide information is that the
services provider has a place of business in Germany, yet the
question whether the services are provided in Germany or another
European country (including the EEA) is not relevant (Sec. 1(1) and
The recipient of the information to be made available by the
services provider is the recipient of the services, in which
respect the German Regulation does not distinguish between private
and commercial recipients. This means that the German Regulation
also has to be observed in legal relations between enterprises
– even enterprises within the same group of
The duty to provide information has to be satisfied in a clear
and comprehensible manner prior to conclusion of a written
agreement or, in the absence of such an agreement, prior to
provision of the services (Sec. 2(1), DL-InfoV). The information
can be provided to the recipient of the services personally or may
be made generally available in an easily accessible manner at the
place of performance or conclusion of contract, for example in a
public posting, or via a website – not necessarily the
issuer's own – that has to be indicated (Sec. 2(2),
DLInfoV). Insofar as the services are provided in Germany, the
information has to be made available in the German language (Sec.
Information has to be provided about the full name of natural
persons, the company name and legal form of legal persons, the
address and further data enabling rapid and direct contact to be
established, about entries in public registers (e.g. Commercial
Register), the responsible supervisory authority in case of
activities subject to a permit, about regulated professions, VAT ID
number, standard terms and conditions and contractual clauses on
the law applicable to the contract and on the venue, on guarantees
expanding statutory warranty rights, a description of essential
features of the services if appropriate as well as information on
professional liability insurance taken out (Sec. 2(1), DL-InfoV).
Information also has to be provided on the price and its
calculation, or a costs estimate has to be made unless this
requirement applies in relations with private consumers on the
basis of the Regulation on Price Information (Sec. 4,
Although many of the information duties in the German Regulation
on Services Information Duties are not new, but were already set
out in the existing telemedia legislation, the risk of penalties
under competition law in the form of a warning notice or an
interlocutory injunction does increase if the information duties
are not duly satisfied (Secs. 3 and 4(1)), German Act Against
Unfair Competition). For this reason the focus of legal advice in
practice will firstly be on the question whether a services
provider is subject to the new duties to provide information at
all, and secondly on the specific manner of fulfilling those duties
in an individual case. On the basis of an analysis of services and
business environment, for example, public postings on business
premises and in most cases internet information will have to be
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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