The Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive was among the legal acts incorporated into the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement on 15 June 2012, along with CLP Regulation on the labelling of chemicals. AVMS is an update of the former Television without Frontiers directive and its goal has been to address the new age of online streaming, video-on-demand and mobile TV. As these services became increasingly important forms of media consumption, the EU revised its rules on traditional TV broadcasting to accommodate a new generation of media services in the digital age. The resulting AVMS Directive, which was finalised in 2007 and came into force at the end of 2009, has been aimed at creating a single market for all such services by providing legal certainty for businesses and more diverse and quality programming for viewers. The Directive also modernises TV advertising rules, thus facilitating new forms of financing of audiovisual content such as sponsorship and product placement.
In addition to the AVMS Directive, the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation has also been incorporated into the EEA Agreement. This Agreement aligns the EU’s system of classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures to the UN based Globally Harmonised System (GHS). It is expected to facilitate global trade and the harmonised communication of hazard information of chemicals and to promote regulatory efficiency. The new regulation replaces the orange hazard symbols with symbols on a white background with red frame. For hazardous products two new symbols are introduced.
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA, founded in 1960, is an intergovernmental organisation set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four Member States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It was originally comprised of seven members which eventually left to join the EU.
The Association is responsible for the management of the EFTA Convention, which forms the legal basis of the organisation and governs free trade relations between the EFTA States; EFTA’s worldwide network of free trade and partnership agreements; and the EEA which enables three of the four EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to participate in the EU’s Internal Market.