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Key dates set for coming into force of the new Audio-visual Media Services Directive

On 28 November 2018, Directive (EU 2018/1808) (“New Directive“) revising the existing Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) (“AVMSD“) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. As such the key dates for when the New Directive comes into force and by when member states must transpose it into national legislation have been confirmed. These are as follows:

Directive EU/2018/1808 enters into force18 December 2018
Transposition of Directive EU/2018/1808 into national legislationBy 19 September 2020

The New Directive is likely to be implemented in the UK if, as is envisaged under the draft agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (“Withdrawal Agreement“), there is a transition period post-Brexit (i.e. post 29 March 2019) until 31 December 2020. According to the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, most EU law (including as amended or supplemented) will continue to apply to the UK during the transition period, and most references to member states in EU law will include the UK.

By contrast, if the Withdrawal Agreement is not finalised and the UK government is unable to reach a Brexit deal by March 2019 (i.e. a ‘no deal’ scenario), then according to the Government’s technical notice on broadcasting and video-on-demand (published on 13 September 2018), the AVMSD and the New Directive will cease to apply in the UK, i.e. services under UK jurisdiction that broadcast into the EU would not be governed by the AVMSD or the New Directive unless the UK Government opted to implement these rules into UK law.