We are the UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill.

Notice of limited regulatory forbearance in respect of new requirements for ICSS

29 August 2023

New Code Requirements relating to ICSS (Information, Connection and Sign-posting Services) will come into force on 18 September 2023. We expect all ICSS providers to be working towards compliance with the new requirements by 18 September. We believe that this is achievable, which is supported by at least one provider who has confirmed they will be able to implement the new requirements by the deadline.

However, following careful consideration of representations made to us by one provider who has stated that they are experiencing genuine difficulty in meeting the implementation deadline we have decided to implement a period of limited regulatory forbearance. Therefore, until 1 November 2023, PSA will not take action against ICSS providers in respect of non-compliance with the new Code requirements. 

PSA regulatory forbearance will not apply automatically to all ICSS providers. For an ICSS provider to be able to benefit from the period of regulatory forbearance the following conditions must be met:

  • PSA is and remains satisfied that the provider is genuinely having difficulty meeting the implementation deadline
  • PSA is and remains satisfied that the provider is working towards implementation of the new requirements at the earliest possible date, which must in any case be no later than 1 November 2023
  • providers must not promote non-compliant services after the implementation date of the new Code, that is 18 September 2023. Active promotion of non-compliant services would still be liable to potential enforcement action.
  • any provider who considers they may have genuine difficulty meeting the implementation deadline of 18 September must contact PSA compliance in the first instance and prior to the implementation deadline. Providers will need to demonstrate that they meet all of the conditions set out above. 

Where an ICSS provider cannot, or no longer meets the conditions set out above it will not be able to benefit or continue benefitting from the period of regulatory forbearance. This means  that the ICSS provider would be subject to potential action by PSA under the Code and Procedures, as deemed appropriate and proportionate, in respect of non-compliance with the new Code Requirements.