Seldia Newsletter July 2013

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July 2013
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Croatia joins the European Union

With the beginning of the Summer season in Europe and as of 1 July Croatia joins the European Union as its 28th member country. Seldia Welcomes the DSA of Croatia (HUDP) as its Full Member and wishes Growth and Prosperity to the direct selling sector in Croatia. The eight Croatian DSA’s member companies are: Amway, Avon, GNLD, Herbalife, Morinda, Oriflame, Significo and Zepter. The Croatian DSA has been with Seldia since March 2007 and is a member of the WfDSA. 

Industry News

National Direct Selling Bans never conform EU Law 
Part of Seldia’s work is to monitor and tackle different EU member states’ national bans on direct selling or on the direct selling of specific products. While the EU in the early 90’s embarked on the ambitious project of creating a single market with harmonized rules and more recently with almost fully harmonized consumer protection standards, Europe is still lagging behind this dream due to its heterogeneity. Twenty-eight member states means twenty-eight different legal systems that developed differently over time. EU laws therefore also require additional time to be properly implemented, with EU member states often failing to comply with the deadlines set out by the EU Commission. Moreover, even if there is timely implementation, member states – when they should – do not always transpose EU laws one to one into their national legislation.

One good example is the Belgian ban on doorstep selling for products above €250. The EU’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive – a cornerstone of EU law – is a full harmonization directive, meaning that this piece of legislation had to be transposed without divergences in all member states. The Belgian ban cannot be upheld because it does not feature in the exhaustive list of practices deemed as illegal in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. In March 2011 the EU Commission very clearly communicated to Belgian authorities that if they do not adapt to the directive they would be taken to the European Court of Justice. A Press Release on this issue can be found here

Whilst there are different types of these “small-scale” bans, they all have one thing in common: they are not conform with EU law. Direct selling is a popular, regulated and common place method of distribution that by EU law cannot be limited or banned anywhere in the European Union. The EU Commission is since 2011 following up with all member states on their non-compliance with EU laws that still hold up such bans and is currently in the process of issuing “last-warning” letters, amongst many cases also on the ban on direct selling of cosmetic products in Austria. In the case of Belgium, the EU Commission already took this action to the European Court of Justice in September 2012 and a judgment is expected in early 2014. 

Daniel Gerber
Seldia EU Adviser

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Young Direct Sellers booming in the UK
New figures released on 27 June by the UK DSA reveal a boom in the number of young people in direct selling with the average number of under-25 year olds at member companies in 2012 increasing by nearly a third (29%) compared to 2011. Of the 400,000 direct sellers in the UK, over 75,000 are now under 25. The UK DSA surveyed its 60 member companies, and discovered that young people are increasingly attracted to direct selling. Under-25s year now make 19% of the direct sales force, with 30% of direct sellers in the UK educated to degree level. 

Lynda Mills, Deputy Director of the Direct Selling Association said: “For many young people, the jobs market is incredibly difficult to break into and there is a real desire to work for themselves and get up and running quickly. Direct selling offers just that and a chance for people, whatever their age to be their own boss and make a very successful career.”

The UK DSA is organizing two events in the near future, a seminar on 4 September on the issue of company products being sold on e-bay and similar sites and an afternoon session on the topic of incentives. On 5 September Tony Perkins MP, the Shadow Minister for small businesses is hosting UK DSA at a lunch debate in the House of Commons which will be attended by selected MPs, the UK DSA Council Members and some Member Companies. The UK DSA will share with MPs the impact of direct sales on the UK economy and raise the profile of the industry. Also, congratulations to UK DSA Director General Paul Southworth for being awarded a Honorary Fellowship by the University of Northampton for his contribution to the economic development within the county of Northamptonshire.

For more information contact the UK DSA.
Website of the UK DSA (www.dsa.org.uk)

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Irish DSA has a new website
The Direct Selling Association of Ireland has a new website: http://www.dsai.ie

The DSAI website contains a section on recent news as well as on events such as their annual awards dinner which this year will be held in Dublin on November 7th. Member Companies will be able to nominate their people for the awards. Click on the ‘events’ tab and you will see the list of awards to be presented. All nominations can be made by the member companies of DSAI by going into the members area and making their nominations on line. Since 2012 the DSAI is administered by the UK DSA.

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US Chamber of Commerce
On 19 June the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named Steve Van Andel chairman of its Board of Directors for a one year term. Steve Van Andel is the chairman of Amway, responsible for managing the company’s daily operations and has led the business to become a stronger, more diverse competitor in the new economy. “I’m a very strong proponent of more businesses getting involved around the globe,” Van Andel said. “It doesn’t matter the size of the business–small, medium, or large. Promoting trade in any part of the world will continue to be a top priority of mine.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Source: US Chamber of Commerce

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Direct Selling News now on Android and iOS
The new digital version of the publication can be found in both the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. Subscribers to the print edition can download the app for free. Those who are not subscribers to the print edition can purchase a one year subscription to the digital edition for only $14.95 U.S. This opportunity certainly makes the magazine more accessible to all of our global friends. 

Website of Direct Selling News

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DSEF Online Research Archive
One of the most critical components of DSEF’s (DSEF is the US based Direct Selling Education Foundation) efforts is its work with the academic community. Through these relationships, the Foundation has built a bibliography of direct selling-related academic research that dates back to the early 1980s.

Recently, DSEF launched its Research & Case Study Archives, a fully searchable online bibliography that includes more than 100 scholarly articles, case studies and textbook entries about the direct selling industry and individual direct selling companies.

Now, DSEF website visitors can easily search the bibliography by author, year, topic and company. A list of related articles can be found at the end of each citation. Full articles are available in PDF format, or users are directed to source material websites to purchase them for a small fee.

For more information, contact DSEF Senior Program Director Bettie Smith.

DSEF Case Study Archive
DSEF Website

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New Seldia Service Provider: Alphatec
Alphatec joined Seldia as Service Provider as of 1st of July 2013.  The Munich based company is the European market leader in the field of software for network and direct marketing enterprises, thanks to the integrated software solution called UPLINE. UPLINE has been applied by numerous direct selling companies with great success since 1993.


Website : www.upline.de

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Ms. Reding speaking at next Seldia Event
Vice President of the EU Commission and Commissioner for Justice Ms. Viviane Reding has accepted an invitation from Seldia and the event’s host Ms. Teresa Jiménez MEP to be a keynote speaker at the Women Entrepreneurship lunch debate that will be held on 25 September at the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament with whom Seldia fosters close ties will also attend and share their views on women entrepreneurship issues in their respective countries. Seldia regularly organizes public affairs events on relevant EU dossiers, particularly on the topic of women entrepreneurship (85% of direct sellers are women!) in order to promote direct selling and strengthen ties with EU level policy makers.  The event is free of charge and Seldia members will be able to register in early September. 


EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding speaking at Seldia’s European Parliament exhibition on 19 February 2013

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Round Table Early Bird Registrations

You are not yet registered to the Annual Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling? Click here to register now and to benefit from early bird registration fee
To access this year’s programme, click here
For more information on the sponsorship package click here.

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EU AT A GLANCE

AmCham EU 50 Years Celebration 

“It would otherwise be a bit boring, so I hope you have not read my speech already”

With these words the President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy jokingly hinted at the recent whistleblower scandal during his key note speech on 11 July at the American Chamber of Commerce in the EU’s 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner. The celebration brought together nearly 500 high-level guests and included addresses from EU Commission President Jose-Manuel Barroso, Commissioner Siim Kallas, Ginni Rometty CEO of IMB and many others. Since the first few panicky days of the Snowden scandal much has calmed down again, proving how important and culturally close the US and Europe are. One of the key achievements praised was the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that will revolutionize trade between these two economies. 

With direct selling originating in the United States and many of the largest companies being American ones, the American Chambers of Commerce in the different member states as well as in Brussels are always important points of contact for the industry. American Seldia member companies are members of AmCham and Amcham EU also has an own working group specifically dedicated to direct selling. Seldia would like to thank Amway Brussels for inviting them to this remarkable event. 

Website of AmCham EU

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Cosmetics Safety

As from the 11th of July, cosmetics both manufactured in the EU and imported from third countries, should be fully compliant with the Cosmetics Regulation ensuring strengthened safety standards and providing better information for the consumers.The Cosmetics Regulation was adopted in 2009 it replaces the Cosmetics Directive and comes into force after a transition period that allowed industry to adapt to the new rules. European legislation on cosmetics was first adopted 35 years ago and has been substantially revised on no less than 7 occasions.

The most significant changes in the new Cosmetics Regulation include:

  • Strengthened safety requirements for cosmetic products
  • Introduction of the notion of ‘responsible person’
  • Centralized notification of all cosmetic products placed on the EU market
  • Introduction of reporting of serious undesirable effects:
  • New rules for the use of nanomaterials in cosmetic products 

Source: European Commission

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General Product Safety
Proposals to enhance the safety of non-food products have been enthusiastically received by MEPs in charge of drafting reports on the European Commission’s product safety and market surveillance package. During the presentation of the documents in European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee (IMCO), on 9 July, MEPs made only a few minor changes to the text. The product safety package, published by the European Commission on 13 February, is composed of a proposal for a regulation on product safety and proposal for a regulation on market surveillance. The package calls for a major clean-up of the complex legislative architecture concerning these matters. Depending on the outcome of the European Parliament’s assessment  the expected date for the new legislation to come into force is 2015. Direct selling businesses already comply with the requirements set out in these proposals.

Currently one point on which there is no agreement is the issue of origin labeling. Under the proposed consumer product safety regulation, manufacturers and importers would have to ensure that the country of origin is displayed on all products sold within the EU, regardless of whether the product is from an EU or non-EU country. Where the size and/or nature of products do not allow for the indication of origin to be provided on the product, the indication will be required on the package or in an accompanying document. For products manufactured in a Member State, the “made in” label may refer either to the EU or to a particular state as the place of origin. Currently business representatives and consumer organisations are against it, arguing that it represents an extra constraint for businesses without any added benefits for consumers. 


Finnish Member of the European Parliament Sirpa Pietikainen who will be present at Seldia’s EU Parliament event on 25 September is the rapporteur of the product safety and market surveillance package. 

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Unfair Commercial Practices Directive
Member of the European Parliament Robert Rochefort (France, ALDE) is currently drafting an own initiative report to give additional guidance to the European Commission’s first revision on the implementation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD). The EU Commission presented a first report on 14 March in which it assessed the implementation of the directive, concluding that while the directive worked well and does not need to be revised, there is a need for focusing on the coherence of its implementation. The parliament report is an important initiative that allows businesses and other stakeholders to provide input into what they see as necessary for the EU Commission to focus on.Seldia and EuroCommerce will be calling for a clear need for the EU Commission to more efficiently monitor proper implementation of the directive in member states. The UCPD is a cornerstone directive of the EU and very important to the direct selling industry as on one hand it is the basis on which national bans can be lifted and more importantly it it allows Seldia and national member associations as well as state authorities to differentiate between ethical and unethical businesses and to effectively deal with the latter.

 

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Trade News
First round of TTIP negotiations
On 10 July the US and EU negotiators met in Washington with approximately 350 stakeholders at a series of events including an engagement event hosted by the United States. Following the three-hour engagement event, U.S. Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney and EU Chief Negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero convened a stakeholder briefing session at which they provided updates on the first round of negotiations and answered questions related to the proposed agreement. Working throughout the week, the negotiating groups have set out respective approaches and ambitions in as much as twenty various areas that the TTIP – the biggest bilateral trade and investment negotiation ever undertaken – is set to cover.

They included: market access for agricultural and industrial goods, government procurement, investment, energy and raw materials, regulatory issues, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, services, intellectual property rights, sustainable development, small- and medium-sized enterprises, dispute settlement, competition, customs/trade facilitation, and state-owned enterprises.

Seldia is meeting with key EU negotiators at the end of July 2013 to discuss the importance of including a specific reference to direct selling in the agreement. 

European Commission Press release
Second round of EU-Morocco DCFTA talks
In the week of 24 June the second round of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between the EU and Morocco took place in Brussels. The two sides agreed to integrate negotiations on trade in services that have been on-going since 2008. As a result, the DCFTA will be further expanded to include more trade sectors compared to the existing EU-Morocco Association Agreement.

EU – Vietnam 4th free trade agreement negotiation round
The EU and Vietnam completed the fourth round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) during the week of 2-5 July. The talks, which took place in Brussels, addressed all key subjects for a modern and comprehensive FTA. The aim is to achieve an ambitious agreement on goods, services and investment, eliminating tariffs, non-tariff barriers and covering other trade-related issues, such as public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, and sustainable development. Once in place, the agreement will boost Vietnam-EU trade ties and investment and provide for more business opportunities on both sides. The next round of negotiations will be held in Vietnam before the end of the year.

Positive outcomes of the EU-Korea FTA
1 July marks the second anniversary of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The implementation of the FTA so far has shown progress in the car sector, with a 2.27% increase of sales in 2012. Trade in services has also increased in terms of numbers of sectors covered and depth of market access commitments. The FTA also provides for the removal of non-tariff barriers to trade, especially in the automotive sector.

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EVENTS

Seldia European Parliament Lunch
    25 September 2013, Brussels
Annual Round Table on the Future of Direct Selling
    2 October 2013, Brussels
5th Annual EU E-Commerce Conference
    15 October 2013, Brussels (EMOTA)
EuroCommerce SME Day
    21 October 2013, Brussels
2013 SME Assembly in Lithuania
    25-26 November 2013, Vilnius (EU Commission)
EuroCommerce 20th Anniversary Dinner
    25 November 2013, BrusselsTo top      

 

SELDIA SERVICE PROVIDERS

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Troy Dooly is recognized internationally as an influencer in the areas of personal branding, leadership development, marketing campaigns, organizational expansion, and corporate launch strategies. Dooly is a speaker, results coach, and radio host. He is a founding member, show host (Beachside CEO) and News Director of the Home Business Radio Network. He is a founding member, and currently serves on the Board of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals