On 4 October the European Council officially approved the DSA. That means that the only thing left is for it to be published in the Official Journal, and a spokesperson said yesterday that is going to happen soon: “The DSA, a new online-content regulation, will be signed into EU law on 19 October, an EU spokeswoman has said…The signing ceremony will be held at the European Parliament in Strasbourg 19 October 2022.

The DSA says that it starts applying in 2024. However, the reality (particularly for VLOPs and VLOSEs) is that it starts to bite a lot sooner. In terms of expected timings:

  1. VLOPs will have three months after entry-into-force to provide the Commission with user numbers to determine designation as a VLOP (same for VLOSEs).
  2. Following designation, VLOPs (and VLOSEs) will have four months to comply with the DSA.

The window for compliance after entry-into-force is therefore likely to be around 7 months (so roughly Spring 2023). We don’t currently have visibility on how long the designation process will take, but where user numbers clearly support designation, we expect that the Commission will act quickly.

Now is therefore the time for businesses that function as intermediaries in any way (as platforms, hosts, caching, or search engines) to assess how their service(s) will be categorised under DSA, what the obligations on the company will be as a result, and what effort/resource/materials will be needed in order to comply with those obligations.

“The DSA defines clear responsibilities and accountability for providers of intermediary services, such as social media, online marketplaces, very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs). The rules are designed asymmetrically, which means that larger intermediary services with significant societal impact (VLOPs and VLOSEs) are subject to stricter rules.”

European Council, Council of the European Union

Read the full press release here.