Seldia Newsletter March 2013

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March 2013
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EU Commission publishes report on Unfair Commercial Practices

On 14 March 2013, the European Commission adopted the long awaited Communication and a detailed Report on the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD). This piece of European legislation is crucial in determining whether commercial practices are legal or not. The EU Commission concludes that it does not want to propose any changes to the directive; the provision on pyramid schemes is to remain unchanged as it has proven to be an efficient piece of legislation to ban these schemes. Seldia fully supports the EU Commission in its conclusion. On behalf of the direct selling industry, Seldia has called for not changing the wording in the UCPD, but rather – and much more importantly, for the EU to focus on the way in which the EU Member States transpose this EU law into national law. In its report, the EU Commission agrees that indeed, there has been several instances where transposition has been problematic and incorrect. 
Further, the EU Commission in its Communication states: “To ensure that the Directive maintains a high level of consumer protection and delivers its internal market benefits, intensified national enforcement and reinforced cooperation in cross-border enforcement are needed. This particularly applies in case of unfair practices simultaneously arising in different Member States. In such cases, an efficient coordination between the Commission, national authorities, consumer organisations and businesses is key to tackle practices that have an EU-wide impact.” Seldia will continue to promote the application of the UCPD and will encourage the European Commission to pursue these Member States that uphold restrictions to direct selling, which is unjustified by the UCPD. The latest information on the UCPD can be found here.

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Industry News

Newly Established Moroccan DSA

On 12 March 2013, the Managers of Forever Living Products (Philippe Decottignies, Chair) , Avon (Tarik Sellami, Vice-Chair) and Oriflame (John Bernstrom, Treasurer) gathered in Rabat to sign the articles of the newly established Moroccan Direct Selling Association (Association Marocaine de Vente Directe). The three founding members invited a representative of the Moroccan Business Federation (CGEM) and the Executive Director of the French Direct Selling Association Jacques Cosnefory (FVD) to witness the signature and support the initiative.

 

The Moroccan DSA will now start it activities to promote the direct selling channel of distribution in the Kingdom. Different important projects will be developed to educate decision makers and solve the actual challenges faced by direct selling companies locally. Any direct selling company legally operating in Morocco is now welcome to join the DSA as a member.

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2013 Statistical Survey

The deadline for submitting direct selling statistical data is March 20th, 2013. DSA’s with staff are requested to issue the survey to their member companies, then aggregate the responses by completing the DSA questionnaire located at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BGBV3T5.

DSA’s that currently do not have independent staff should forward the company questionnaire located at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HZTZJSC to their members.

All company information will remain completely confidential. Completed questionnaires are send directly to Nathan Associates who will report information to WFDSA only in the aggregate. Any question? Please contact Tamuna Gabilaia at tgabilaia@wfdsa.org or Marie Lacroix at marie.lacroix@seldia.eu



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New Seldia Service Provider: Exence S.A.
Exence S.A. specializes in delivering comprehensive IT solutions to support operational activity and development of companies. Our bundled portfolio includes open source domain applications and IT systems based on technologies from the world’s leading vendors. 

Exence offers applications for direct sales, which facilitate management of sales representatives teams. Those applications help companies organize sales process on stages from recruitment of new representative, getting some knowledge about products, adding his/hers clients orders, and calculation of commission and results of sales competitions.

Exence’s products for direct sales includes:
–          Sales Structure Management
–          Commission Engine
–          Competition Engine
–          Orders Management
–          Advisor Oriented Portal.

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EU AT A GLANCE

European Parliament approves ADR directive
On 12 March 2013, at the Strasbourg plenary session, the Members of the European Parliament adopted the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) package by a large majority, with the ADR directive being approved by 617 votes to 51 against and the ODR regulation by 622 votes to 24.“We are very happy with the adoption of the ADR texts as our industry’s national code administrators or mediators dealing with the direct selling Code of Ethics will fall under the scope of the directive and will thus play an even more important role in guaranteeing fast, easy and reliable consumer redress” said Maurits Bruggink Seldia’s Executive Director. “In order to be recognized as an official ADR, we are required to modify our dispute resolution mechanisms to new requirements set out in the directive – these are all relevant modifications that were worked out over an intensive year of negotiations in 2012 and ultimately are going lead to more effective consumer redress for all retail sectors in Europe, including direct selling.”
The ADR directive is important to Seldia as it reinforces the strict Code of Conduct of the direct selling industry, which obliges direct selling companies to abide by ethical trading practices towards consumers. On the basis of the Code of Ethics, all of Seldia’s 27 national member associations have appointed mediators that engage and guarantee an unbiased consumer redress mechanism for consumer complaints in the direct selling sector. In 2012, Seldia held numerous meetings with Member State officials, Members of the European Parliament and also organized a breakfast discussion in the Parliament on 8 May, with over 100 participants, it allowed the Business community to discuss this dossier with the policymakers. To top

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Data Protection at the EU Council

On 8 March 2013, on the occasion of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, the justice ministers discussed the proposed General Data Protection Regulation. On the basis of a working document prepared by the Irish Presidency, the ministers exchanged views on incorporating a ‘risk-based approach’, on the designation of data protection officers, on codes of conduct and certification mechanisms, and on flexibility provisions for the public sector. Although the ministers acknowledged that the line between a high level of protection and stifling businesses is thin, opinions differed on the policy options. In her opening statement, Vice-President of the European Commission Viviane Reding warned the Member States “If you Ministers force the butcher on the corner to prove he is not a data protection risk, you Ministers will deserve the “Nobel Prize for Red Tape”. While further discussions will be held at working group level in the next few weeks, it is expected that the European Parliament will vote on its report in the April plenary. 

To access the Presidency note on the Council’s progress so far, please click here

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EU Parliament supports CESL

In the morning of 19 March 2013, Seldia attended a public hearing organized by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs (JURI) committee on the proposed Regulation for a Common European Sales Law (CESL), in which the progress that has been achieved so far was debated. The two co-rapporteurs of the proposal Klaus Heiner Lehne (EPP, DE) and Luigi Berlinguer (S&D, IT) both chaired the hearing with the fitting title “Work in Progress”. The focus of the hearing was on the European Parliament JURI committee’s draft report, which was published on 6 March and was interpreted by the speakers as positively supporting the EU Commission proposal. The draft report proposes some radical changes to the regulation such as the limitation of its scope in relation to online and distance contracts, as well as a re-worked definition of the principle of “good faith and fair dealing”. While stakeholders, the European Parliament and EU Commission are slowly fine-tuning their expectations on the proposed regulation, the main future hurdle will undoubtedly remain the position of the EU Council which currently is not favorable towards the CESL. The draft report will be discussed in the EP Legal Affairs committee in the coming months and voted upon on 17 September. “Work in progress” remains the tagline. 

To access the European Parliament draft report please click here.

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EU-US Free Trade Agreement

The US-EU free trade negotiations were discussed at the Brussels Forum that took place between 15-17 March in Brussels. Speakers stressed the need to be pragmatic and to have public and political support for the agreement. Michael Froman, U.S. deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs highlighted the need to be realistic and stressed that the talks should not be hindered by special interests. In addition, Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for trade, said that these negotiations should be easier than those with non-Western countries since both parties know each other’s economies very well. And stated that: “Fear of the loss of jobs doesn’t happen with discussions between EU and the U.S.  The risk is much less in this case. In negotiations with emerging economies, this is much more challenging.” In the same session, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt underlined the importance of having public and political support for the agreement.

 

The Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders aiming to address the common challenges of both the EU and the US. The European Union and the United States have jointly decided to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to boost jobs and growth.

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Eurostat Figures: Rise in retail trade & EU GDP

On 5 March 2013, Eurostat published the figures on the volume of retail trade in the euro area and EU27. At +1.2% and +0.9% respectively, these figures show a clear rise compared to December 2012.

To access this publication, please click here.

On 6 March 2013, Eurostat published its second estimate of GDP development in the euro area and the EU as a whole during the fourth quarter of 2012. The EU’s GDP shrunk by 0.5% compared to the previous quarter (down 0.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011), while the euro area contracted by 0.6% (or 0.9% compared to 2011). This puts the 2012 GDP development at -0.6% for the euro area and -0.3% for the EU27.
To access this publication, please click here

 

EVENTS

French DSA Strasbourg Entrepreneurs Event
    4-5 April 2013, http://www.em-strasbourg.com/cfvd/index.php
UK DSA Annual Conference
    9 May 2013, http://conference.dsa.org.uk/
ECR Europe-EuroCommerce Conference and Marketplace
    14-15 May 2013 in Brussels, http://www.ecreuropeforum.net/
French DSA Annual Conference
    26-27 May 2013
Seldia Committee Meetings
    3-4 June 2013 in Stockholm
US DSA Annual Conference
    9-11 June 2013To top      

 

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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