Do national regulators enforce rules against entities operating abroad?
The DPR applies to prize promotions aimed at sponsoring the knowledge of the promoter's products and services within the Italian territory, both in the case of promotions directed to consumers and in the case of promotions addressed to other subjects (such as professionals, employees, retailers or mediators). Provided that a prize promotion is not addressed to Italy, national regulators would not enforce the DPR against entities operating abroad. However, the assessment on whether a promotion can be considered to be addressed to Italy shall be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Should the prize promotion be addressed to Italy, there are two different scenarios:
- If the company is established outside of Italy in one of the EU Member States, the laws of that State shall apply instead of the DPR and the Circular and companies should comply only with Italian general consumer law (e.g. the Consumers Code and the Legislative Decree no. 70 of 9 April 2003 and subsequent amendments, on e-commerce); while
- If a company is established in a non-EU Country, the DPR and the Circular shall apply. In this scenario, the promoter established outside of the Italian territory can run a prize promotion, but would be required by law to appoint a fiscal representative in Italy or ask for a direct identification VAT number from the Italian Tax Authority (subject to certain conditions provided by the applicable fiscal laws) in order to comply with all the formalities as per the DPR. In such case, national regulators would be entitled to enforce the rules against the foreign promoter through the representative located in Italy.