The Treaty lays down central principles governing the legal framework for freedom of establishment and the free movement of services in the European Community. There are, however, a number of areas where the legal position is not clear. This includes, for example, identifying whether a service is provided through an establishment, where the issues involved are complex. Therefore, this Appendix is intended to provide guidance but cannot be regarded as comprehensive. Ultimately, the construction of the Treaty and relevant Directive provisions is a matter for the European Court of Justice.
SUP 13.5(Notices of intention) sets out the notification requirements for a firm seeking to establish a branch or provide cross border services. As firms will note, the decision whether a passport notification needs to be made will be a matter of interpretation. The onus is on firms to comply with the requirements of the Act and, where relevant, the laws of other EEA States. So, in cases of doubt, firms should obtain their own legal advice on the specific issues involved.
Blanket notification is the practice of the Home State regulator notifying all Host State regulators in respect of all activities regardless of any genuine intention to carry on the activity. This practice is discouraged by the FSA. However, a firm may be carrying on activities in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in a way that necessarily gives rise to a real possibility of the provision of services in other EEA States. In such cases, the firm should consider with its advisers whether it should notify the relevant authorities and include that possibility in its business plan.