5 observations for stakeholders when meeting changes in market legislation
When a market is undergoing changes in legislative regulation, the trading parties involved are to collaborate in order to meet the new, common requirements and procedures.
New legislation requires stronger cooperationMany markets within the EU are regulated by national and/or international legislation to ensure transparency, accuracy and reduce trade barriers. When a market area is experiencing changes in legislative regulation, the different stakeholders involved, such as companies, accreditation organs, test houses and authorities, are to collaborate in new ways in order to meet the new, common standard requirements and procedures.
But what is important to know and address for the key parties involved in these transition periods? As an accredited test house, we have participated in several changes of regulation, recently in 2012, when the Danish gambling market was re-regulated.
From this and similar experiences, we have gathered 5 observations that apply to market stakeholders that are entering a phase of change in legislative regulation.
1. A close dialogue with the authorities is imperativeDialogue with the authorities within the area is alfa and omega to ensure correct interpretation of the new legislation and avoid deviating interpretations.
To ensure close dialogue, a possible solution is creating working groups, consisting of representatives from all the relevant stakeholders, where communication to and from the authorities is streamlined and unified.
Another option is that the stakeholders incl. the authorities cooperate on creating relevant FAQ’s that the whole industry can benefit from, thereby ensuring conformity in procedures.
2. The accredited test houses are a friend – not a foeWhen it comes to test houses and certification organisations, we, as a test house, are often met with an assumption that we are invented to find faults. This is not the case – our goal is to secure conformity and spare the industry for unnecessary and unforeseen challenges.
A close dialogue between the authorities and test houses is thus also beneficial, as it ensures compliance between the certification process and requirements of the test houses and the recommendations of the authorities, making it easier to navigate for all stakeholders.
3. The accreditation organs are dependent on in-depth knowledgeThe technical assessors in the accreditation organs are often dependant on their access to information about the market area, the country/region, current regulations, and a thorough understanding of the existing challenges. With a vast understanding of the circumstances, the technical assessors can deliver a much higher quality in assessments.
An open dialogue is therefore once again important to ensure high quality and mutual understanding in the accreditation process.
It is our experience, that when an accreditation organ, such as DANAK or SWEDAC, is accrediting a company e.g. FORCE Technology, it is an advantage to include a technical assessor from a different country that is experienced in working on a regulated market, because (s)he already has a vast field of experience to refer to.
4. The applicantsAs for the applicant parties, preparation is everything. We can highlight:
- Remember not only to read the new regulation, but also to understand it fully
- Seek answers from the authorities or the test houses – once, twice, even three times or more to get it all right
What we normally do as a test house, is to hand out check lists to the applicants, and go through the check list a couple of times to ensure a thorough preparation and understanding of the new process. In this way, we prepare for the applicant for any unexpected issues at the physical inspection.
We also encourage the applicants not to panic during the initial approval – the deviations that occur in the beginning are almost standard procedure for all applicants and will be solved eventually.
Our best experience in an application process was with a Danish Company that was to be approved for the Danish gambling market. In close cooperation with us at FORCE Technology and the Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden), the company succeeded in a smooth approval process by dedicating delegates to the task, initiating open dialogue and involving us in all details, asking questions and reserving an appropriate amount of time for the process. In the end, they got approved and we all learned a lot.
5. Rome wasn’t built in a dayWhen new legislation enters into force, the stakeholders have expectations to a fast process – but this is unfortunately not the case. Approval processes take time, and the best way to cope is to be patient and resolve issues as they come in close cooperation with the relevant parties.
The changes are new to all stakeholders.