Israel Brief: October 2011
This newsletter brings you the latest European developments which are of most relevance to Israeli companies doing business in Europe or planning to do so. We hope you will enjoy the Israel Brief and as always we would welcome your ideas and feedback.
In this issue:
- Consultation on major changes to UK competition regime
- French proposal to ban products containing certain chemicals
- Bribery Act guidance published
- Government plans to invest in space sector
- EU consumers wary of cross border online shopping
Consultation on major changes to UK competition regime
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a consultation paper on the options for reforming the UK’s competition regime. Reforming the competition regime forms a key part of the Government’s economic growth agenda with Ministers particularly concerned that there are too few competition cases and those that there are, take too long to reach a conclusion.
On 4 May 2011, the French National Assembly adopted the following proposal to ban three groups of chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties: "The manufacturing, import, sale or offer of products containing phthalates, parabens and alkylphenols are prohibited."
The UK Government published long awaited guidance on the procedures that businesses need to implement to comply with the Bribery Act, which comes into force on 1 July this year. The Act includes a controversial new criminal offence for businesses which fail to put "adequate procedures" in place to prevent bribery.
In its latest budget plans announced on 23 March 2011, the UK government has set out proposals to encourage British space business, focussed particularly on streamlining some of the major regulatory controls. By creating an increasingly favourable environment for space sector businesses, the UK aims to build on the blueprint from the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy group, which set the target of UK space business reaching 10% of the world market over the next 20 years.
The latest European Commission Consumer Scoreboard (published on 11 March 2011) reveals slow growth in the number of consumers buying goods or services online from outside their home Member State. However, once consumers actually experience cross-border e-commerce, some of their concerns are dispelled.