Statement published 31 December 2020
The UK statutory framework that shapes the regulation of UK television services is changing.
The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations came into force on 1 November 2020. The AVMS Regulations implement the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) into UK law. They amend Section 319 of the Communications Act 2003, which sets the standards objectives that underpin Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code.
From 1 January 2021, the AVMS Directive itself and the country of origin principle will no longer apply as they did to UK television services that broadcast into the EU. However, the content rules set by the AVMSD prior to that date will still apply. This means both the rules that already existed, and the ones on which we have been consulting to implement the AVMSD, will still apply, and our rules which implemented the AVMSD will be interpreted as they were before.
In addition, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT) framework will still apply and the legislation requires Ofcom to implement it. This means that services established in the UK and that broadcast to ECTT countries are required to comply with broadcast standards set out in the ECTT, which include those on the amount of advertising broadcasters can transmit and where this is scheduled.
On 24 November 2020, Ofcom published a consultation on proposals for amendments to the Broadcasting Code and COSTA resulting from the legislative changes. This statement sets out the amendments we are making in light of stakeholders' responses.