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Services Directive
Article 15

Article 15 — Requirements to be evaluated

  1. Member States shall examine whether, under their legal system, any of the requirements listed in paragraph 2 are imposed and shall ensure that any such requirements are compatible with the conditions laid down in paragraph 3. Member States shall adapt their laws, regulations or administrative provisions so as to make them compatible with those conditions.
  2. Member States shall examine whether their legal system makes access to a service activity or the exercise of it subject to compliance with any of the following non-discriminatory requirements:
    1. quantitative or territorial restrictions, in particular in the form of limits fixed according to population or of a minimum geographical distance between providers;
    2. an obligation on a provider to take a specific legal form;
    3. requirements which relate to the shareholding of a company;
    4. requirements, other than those concerning matters covered by Directive 2005/36/EC or provided for in other Community instruments, which reserve access to the service activity in question to particular providers by virtue of the specific nature of the activity;
    5. a ban on having more than one establishment in the territory of the same State;
    6. requirements fixing a minimum number of employees;
    7. fixed minimum and/or maximum tariffs with which the provider must comply;
    8. an obligation on the provider to supply other specific services jointly with his service.
  3. Member States shall verify that the requirements referred to in paragraph 2 satisfy the following conditions:
    1. non-discrimination: requirements must be neither directly nor indirectly discriminatory according to nationality nor, with regard to companies, according to the location of the registered office;
    2. necessity: requirements must be justified by an overriding reason relating to the public interest;
    3. proportionality: requirements must be suitable for securing the attainment of the objective pursued; they must not go beyond what is necessary to attain that objective and it must not be possible to replace those requirements with other, less restrictive measures which attain the same result.
  4. Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall apply to legislation in the field of services of general economic interest only insofar as the application of these paragraphs does not obstruct the performance, in law or in fact, of the particular task assigned to them.
  5. In the mutual evaluation report provided for in Article 39(1), Member States shall specify the following:
    1. the requirements that they intend to maintain and the reasons why they consider that those requirements comply with the conditions set out in paragraph 3;
    2. the requirements which have been abolished or made less stringent.
  6. From 28 December 2006 Member States shall not introduce any new requirement of a kind listed in paragraph 2, unless that requirement satisfies the conditions laid down in paragraph 3.
  7. Member States shall notify the Commission of any new laws, regulations or administrative provisions which set requirements as referred to in paragraph 6, together with the reasons for those requirements. The Commission shall communicate the provisions concerned to the other Member States. Such notification shall not prevent Member States from adopting the provisions in question.

    Within a period of 3 months from the date of receipt of the notification, the Commission shall examine the compatibility of any new requirements with Community law and, where appropriate, shall adopt a decision requesting the Member State in question to refrain from adopting them or to abolish them.

    The notification of a draft national law in accordance with Directive 98/34/EC shall fulfil the obligation of notification provided for in this Directive.