Accessibility of websites and mobile applications

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Legal act: 
Directive (EU) 2016/2102

Consolidated act:
02/12/2016 (Languages available: CS, EL and LV)

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Subject matter and scope

  1. In order to improve the functioning of the internal market, this Directive aims to approximate the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to the accessibility requirements of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies, thereby enabling those websites and mobile applications to be more accessible to users, in particular to persons with disabilities.
  2. This Directive lays down the rules requiring Member States to ensure that websites, independently of the device used for access thereto, and mobile applications of public sector bodies meet the accessibility requirements set out in Article 4.
  3. This Directive does not apply to the following websites and mobile applications:
    1. websites and mobile applications of public service broadcasters and their subsidiaries, and of other bodies or their subsidiaries fulfilling a public service broadcasting remit;
    2. websites and mobile applications of NGOs that do not provide services that are essential to the public, or services that specifically address the needs of, or are meant for, persons with disabilities.
  4. This Directive does not apply to the following content of websites and mobile applications:
    1. office file formats published before 23 September 2018, unless such content is needed for active administrative processes relating to the tasks performed by the public sector body concerned;
    2. pre-recorded time-based media published before 23 September 2020;
    3. live time-based media;
    4. online maps and mapping services, as long as essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use;
    5. third-party content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of, the public sector body concerned;
    6. reproductions of items in heritage collections that cannot be made fully accessible because of either:
      1. the incompatibility of accessibility requirements with either the preservation of the item concerned or the authenticity of the reproduction (e.g. contrast); or
      2. the unavailability of automated and cost-efficient solutions that would easily extract the text of manuscripts or other items in heritage collections and transform it into content compatible with the accessibility requirements;
    7. content of extranets and intranets, that is to say, websites that are only available for a closed group of people and not to the general public as such, published before 23 September 2019, until such websites undergo a substantial revision;
    8. content of websites and mobile applications qualifying as archives, meaning that they only contain content that is neither needed for active administrative processes nor updated or edited after 23 September 2019.
  5. Member States may exclude from the application of this Directive websites and mobile applications of schools, kindergartens or nurseries, except for the content thereof relating to essential online administrative functions.

 

Article 12 Transposition

  1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 23 September 2018. They shall immediately inform the Commission thereof. When Member States adopt those measures, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or shall be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. The methods of making such reference shall be laid down by Member States.
  2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main measures of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive. 3. Member States shall apply those measures as follows:
    1. to websites of public sector bodies not published before 23 September 2018: from 23 September 2019;
    2. to websites of public sector bodies not covered by point (a): from 23 September 2020;
    3. to mobile applications of public sector bodies: from 23 June 2021.

Legal acts repealed:

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Previous guidelines:

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