Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Public consultation on the Evaluation of the Commercial Agents Directive (86/653/EEC)

Public consultation on the Evaluation of the Commercial Agents Directive (86/653/EEC)
Published on: 25/07/2014 Last update: 13/04/2018
Deadline: 31/10/2014

Policy Field

Internal Market, Internal Market for Services

Target group

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from market participants.


From 25 July 2014 to 31 October 2014 – (closed).


The objective of this consultation is to evaluate the functioning of the Commercial Agents Directive 86/653/EEC which was adopted on 18 December 1986. This is the first general evaluation of the Directive since its entering into force. It will assess whether the Directive remains fit-for-purpose in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, consistency and EU added value. The evaluation is conducted on the basis of the Commission Communication, 'Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT): Results and Next Steps' (See Annex of COM(2013) 685 final) which identified the Commercial Agents Directive as legislation that should be assessed regarding the potential for simplification and the reduction of regulatory costs and burdens.

Commercial agents are self-employed intermediaries authorised on a permanent basis to negotiate the sale or purchase of goods in the name and on behalf of another person (the principal). The objective of the Commercial Agents Directive was to move towards a single market for commercial representation and improve the conditions of competition by facilitating the conclusion and operation of commercial representation contracts across borders through harmonised rules.

For this purpose, the Directive defines the commercial agents falling under its scope and harmonises the rights and obligations of commercial agents and their principals, and defines rules for the remuneration of the commercial agent, the conclusion and the termination of the contract and the restraint of trade after the termination of the contract.

Consultation process

The purpose of the consultation is to get more in-depth information on the functioning of the directive, including from stakeholders representing commercial agents, principals or consumers. The responses to the consultation will support the evaluation of the Directive.

The consultation questionnaire contains questions about:

  1. the impact of the Directive since its entering into force, in particular regarding its significance for SMEs and cross-border activities
  2. the relevant market of commercial agents and principals 
  3. stakeholder views on the future of the Directive.

Responses to this consultation should be concise, focused on the questions raised and submitted no later than 31/10/2014. Answers to the questionnaire should be submitted via the online questionnaire only.

How to submit your contribution

The participation period to this consultation is now over.

View questionnaire PDF (59 kB)

Reference documents and other related consultations

Contact details

Responsible services:

Internal Market and Services DG,

Unit E2 – Business-to-Business Services

Postal address:

European Commission

J-59 08/055

1049 Brussels


Number of responses received to this consultation

276 contributions were received.


In the interests of transparency, organisations are invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission will be published separately from the registered organisations.

Results of consultation and next steps

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