Government decrees on accessibility requirements for products and services into force in February
On 16 February 2023, the Government issued three decrees on the accessibility requirements for certain products and services. These decrees will finalise the national implementation of the European Accessibility Act (Directive 2019/882). The decrees will enter into force on 20 February 2023 and they will become applicable on 28 June 2025.
The Government Decree on Accessibility Requirements for Certain Products lays down provisions e.g. on the accessibility of certain smart devices and self-service terminals. According to the decree, these products should in future be accessible to persons with disabilities. In addition, the instructions for use of products and support services should be fully available and they should provide information on the accessibility of the product.
The Government Decree on Accessibility Requirements for Certain Digital Services lays down provisions on the accessibility of information provided on the functioning of digital services. Additional requirements are also set for the accessibility of financial and banking services, e-books and e-commerce. For example, in future language that is easier to understand should be used to present information on the provision of financial and banking services.
The Government also issued a decree concerning the accessibility requirements for electronic communications services and services providing access to audiovisual media services. The decree lays down provisions on the accessibility of information provided on the functioning of the services.
The objective of the European Accessibility Act is to promote the possibilities of all persons, especially persons with disabilities, to use services independently, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Directive will harmonise the accessibility requirements for certain products and services across the EU.
The aim is to design and produce products and services in such a way that their foreseeable use by persons with disabilities is maximised. The accessibility requirements for products and services offered to consumers oblige both the public and private sector.
The Government decrees will enter into force on 20 February 2023 and they will become applicable on 28 June 2025.
Roosa Patrakka, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 431 7036, roosa.patrakka(at)gov.fi (absent 17–20 February 2023)
Aino Sipari, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 326 5829, aino.sipari(at)gov.fi