Automatic removal of restrictions to professional freedom

The automatic removal of restrictions to professional freedom, in terms of access to and practice of professions, took effect as of July 2nd, 2011, by virtue of law 3919/2011 (see news item on 02-Mar-11).

The restrictions lifted include the number of persons who may access a profession, the requirement for an evaluation that there is genuine need prior to granting a license to practice, geographical limitations, setting minimum distances between members of the same profession, prohibiting more than one establishments from the same professional, requiring or prohibiting the distribution or sale of goods from specific types of professional establishments requiring or prohibiting the exercise of a profession under a particular corporate form, limiting the participation in the company capital on the basis of the professional status of the participants, setting mandatory minimum prices, requiring the professional to offer together with its own services additional specific services. In addition to the removal of those restrictions, as of July 2nd, 2011, the requirement for the issuance of an administrative license to practice is abolished and replaced by a simple announcement by the professional of the commencement of one’s practice, accompanied by the necessary supporting documents.

The above do not apply to notaries, lawyers, engineers and chartered accountants-auditors for which the law (at chapter B) contains separate specific provisions, whereas road freight transport and pharmacists are excluded from the ambit of the law.