Free Movement of Services

Implementation of the Services Directive

27 Member States of the European Union and 3 countries of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) implementing the Services Directive have been obligated, by 28 December 2009 to:

  • perform a review of compliance of national legislation with provisions of the Services Directive;
  • draft amendments to legislative acts that do not comply with provisions of the Services Directive;
  • furnish the European Commission with a report on the review and assessment of national legislation;
  • set up the Point of Single Contact and comply with other measures implementing the Services Directive.

The review undertaken in 2009 of compliance of national legislation with provisions of the Services Directive covered more than 2 000 national legislative acts, from among which about 300 legislative acts, i.e. 40 laws and more than 200 other legislative acts have been found to be non-compliant with the Services Directive.

In most of these cases amendments to legislative acts concerned the elimination of authorisations and licenses or the establishment of less restrictive measures necessary for obtaining such authorisations, lifting of barriers to free access to services, easing of administrative procedures, elimination of discriminatory and disproportionate requirements (e.g., of physical arrival, submission of an original document, etc.). When considering the draft laws, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved the elimination of 10 authorisations. At present the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania has already approved the elimination of 6 authorisations, refused the elimination of 2 authorisations, and the situation of the remaining 2 authorisations will become clear only upon approval of draft laws by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. Also, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania approved the replacement of 11 authorisations by less restrictive measures.

Provisions of the Services Directive have been transposed to the Republic of Lithuania Law on Services adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on 15 December 2009 and enforced on 28 December 2009 (hereinafter the Law on Services).

The purpose of the Law on Services is to set out the conditions for exercising the freedom of establishment, the freedom to provide services and the freedom of economic service activities, while creating preconditions to maintain a high quality of services, as well as to regulate the establishment and main functions of the Point of Single Contact, the administrative cooperation between competent authorities of the Republic of Lithuania with competent authorities of Member States and the European Commission in the sphere of services.

The Point of Single Contact for Services and Products

The Point of Single Contact for Services and Products (PSCSP) is an official national point of single contact joining three points of contact: the Point of Single Contact for Services in charge of consulting on the matters of business authorisations and licenses, the Point of Single Contact for Products in charge of provision of information on national legislative acts applicable to products, and the Point of Single Contact for Products of Construction Area in charge of provision of information on the conditions of supply of construction products to the Lithuanian market. The PSCSP consults both, the Lithuanian and foreign entrepreneurs.

Tasks of the Point of Single Contact for Services and Products:

  • To simplify the procedures of obtaining authorisations and licenses for service providers and to supply all information on requirements applicable to their activities.
  • To ensure access for entrepreneurs to the particular national rules aimed at products to be supplied to the Lithuanian market which are not regulated by the EU.

The relevant information for business in Lithuania is available through the PSCSP portal: www.verslovartai.lt. A secure message box created in the portal enables entrepreneurs to file electronic applications for business authorisations with public authorities.

The PSCSP responds to requests submitted at a distance via the portal’s information system. The PSCSP belongs to the EUGO network of the points of single contact of the EU Member States, which joins the points of single contact of 28 MS of the EU, as well as of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. The portals of other EU Member States are available on the title page “Useful links” of www.verslovartai.lt.

Review of economic–commercial activity licenses and of their granting conditions and procedure

In 2012–2014, the Ministry of Economy performed a review of economic–commercial activity licenses and of their granting conditions and procedure. This review inter alia was aimed at:

  • abolishing discriminatory, unnecessary and disproportionate authorisations (licenses) or replacing them by other less restrictive measures;
  • eliminating unnecessary and disproportionate requirements, laying down clear and transparent authorisation granting procedures;
  • encouraging public authorities to increase the number of services provided by electronic means via the Point of Single Contact for Services and Products or by approaching a competent authority at a distance;
  • creating preconditions for the reduction of administrative burden.

For the purpose of performing a proper review, the Ministry of Economy has drafted the Description of Licensing Framework (hereinafter – the Description) which was approved by Resolution 937 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 18 July 2012 (hereinafter – the Resolution). The Resolution establishes the time limits for performance of the review and instructions for public authorities, whereas the Description sets forth the principles and requirements to be observed when performing the review, drafting legislative acts regulating the licensing of certain activities and specifies the licensing models and mandatory assessment of the established legal regulation.

As part of the review, the Ministry of Economy has assessed and drafted conclusions and proposals in respect of the procedure of granting licenses of 12 ministries (the Ministries of Environment, Energy, Finance, Culture, Social Security and Labour, Health, Education and Science, Transport and Communications, the Interior, Justice, Economy and Agriculture) and of the Bank of Lithuania and the licensing model proposed to be applied to the procedure. During the review, the Ministry of Economy has assessed the information provided by the authorities on 423 types of licenses and established that the average number of licenses granted in Lithuania in a year is about 180 000. The Ministry of Economy has suggested replacing the licensing model “G” (strict) by the measure which is less restrictive of business, i.e. by “D” (declaration) in respect of 45 licensed activities. The Ministry of Economy has further suggested eliminating 9 types of licenses as unjustified and amending and easing the procedure of granting licenses of 160 types.

The Ministry of Economy has provided the conclusions and proposals to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The conclusions and proposals of the Ministry of Economy were approved at the Government meetings of 5 February 2014 and 9 June 2014 (submission of adjustments), and public authorities were ordered to draft amendments to legislative acts and submit them to the Government by the established timeline. At present, the authorities are drafting and submitting amendments to legal acts aimed at implementing the proposals of the Ministry of Economy.

On 23 December 2014, the Ministry of Economy submitted to the Government and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania a report on the review results of economic–commercial licenses.

We note that the assessment of the final results of the review of economic–commercial authorisations (licenses) will be possible after adoption of all legislative amendments.

Last updated: 30-09-2015