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The European Accessibility Act: What its June 2025 deadline means for you

We answer your FAQs and share a checklist resource to ensure your organization is ready.

- By Lane Baumeister - Apr 16, 2024 Accessibility Web Accessibility

By now, you're likely acquainted with the European Accessibility Act (EAA), which was first adopted in 2019. Organizations throughout Europe have worked diligently to adopt its provisions.  

However, a new deadline is approaching: In June 2025, these laws will come into effect, so there's no better time than now to ensure you thoroughly understand the EAA requirements for your business. That way, you’re fully prepared to make whatever adjustments you need to make, with plenty of runway to get it all done. 

What is the European Accessibility Act? 

The European Accessibility Act (EAA), also known as Directive 2019/882, aims to enhance the internal market for accessible products and services by eliminating barriers resulting from varying rules across EU member states. Previously, each member state in the EU had different accessibility standards for products and services, which resulted in a poor selection and expensive products for consumers and small, fragmented markets. 

Under the EAA, EU member states will now have a set of shared accessibility rules to follow, so it’s easier for private companies to sell compliant products and services in all areas of the EU, which will increase selection for consumers. 

Under the EAA, EU member states must adhere to common accessibility regulations, which will facilitate easier access for companies to sell compliant products and services across the EU. This harmonization and standardization of accessibility rules not only expands consumer choices but encourages market growth and innovation. 

The act emphasizes a "design for all" approach to align with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which advocates for products and services usable by everyone without the need for specialized design. Moreover, it stipulates that apps and websites should adhere to the principles of accessibility (POUR): perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust, in alignment with WCAG standards. 

An estimated 135 million individuals in the EU have disabilities and so the EAA plays a pivotal role in upholding their rights and ensuring equal access to products and services. Alongside the EU Web Accessibility Directive, the EAA underscores the EU's commitment to fostering inclusivity and accessibility for all. 

A graphic titled “The five website accessibility principles.” Each of the five principles has an icon depicting what that principle represents. Perceivable has a blue eye, Operable has a finger pointing, Understandable has a speech bubble, Robust has a set of dumbbells, and Respectful has a hand holding a heart.

What are the benefits of the EAA? 

For companies and member states 

In the past, companies typically designed products or services to meet the accessibility standards of only one or a few countries. This limited approach reduced competitiveness in product/service selection and diminished companies' motivation to develop accessible offerings 

The EU Commission estimates that differing accessibility requirements cost companies and member states €20 billion in 2020. The proposed EU action is estimated to reduce that by 45 to 50 percent. 

With a standard set of accessibility rules, companies can offer products and services that are compliant within the whole of Europe, which greatly increases their market reach and incentive to create accessible offerings. 

For consumers 

The European Accessibility Act promises numerous advantages for consumers and individuals with disabilities alike. With a wider array of choices, products and services will not only improve but also become more competitively priced. Moreover, enhanced accessibility will foster greater independence for individuals with disabilities, enabling them to rely on a broader range of accessible offerings. 

Additional benefits of the act include: 

  • Increased employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the creation of accessible products and services 
  • Harmonized accessibility requirements will facilitate the sharing of research, technology, and ideas among companies, benefiting everyone 
  • The EU's stringent accessibility standards will likely influence other countries to adopt similar measures to access the lucrative EU market easily 
  • Standardized accessibility levels across member states will promote greater freedom of movement and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities 
  • The elderly, individuals with temporary disabilities, and travelers will also enjoy improved access to services and devices 
  • A unified market for accessible products and services will lead to lower prices, greater choices, and increased innovation 

What's the timeline for the EAA? 

The EAA was adopted by the EU in June 2019, and by June 2022, EU member states were required to translate and adopt the directive into their national laws. The next deadline on the horizon is June 28, 2025, which is when the law will be enforced. 

How is the European Accessibility Act enforced? 

Each member state is responsible for enforcement, which means they can appoint the body in charge of enforcement and decide penalties. 


Member states also are in charge of their own penalties for noncompliance, which should be “effective, proportionate, and dissuasive.” 

Reporting noncompliance 

Each member state must make it possible for consumers to report noncompliance to either the courts or the body in charge of enforcing the law in that country. 

Both public and private organizations also must have the option of going to court or filing a complaint with the body in charge. 

How do I know if the EAA applies to my business? 

Most businesses based in or offering services to European consumers are required to be EAA compliant. There is an exception in the act for “undue burden,” meaning a company doesn’t have to comply if it would change the nature of the product/service or if the company would be financially overburdened. 

There’s also an exception for what the act calls “micro-enterprises,” which are companies with less than 10 employees and an annual balance sheet total not exceeding Є2 million. 

There are a few specific instances that are exempt from compliance: 

  • Pre-recorded time-based media (e.g., videos) published before June 2025 
  • Office file formats published before June 2025 
  • Online maps, if essential information is otherwise provided in an accessible way 
  • Third-party content that is not funded, developed, or under the control of an organization that must be compliant 
  • Archived content that won’t be updated after June 2025 

How can I make sure I’m EAA compliant? 

The Siteimprove EAA Checklist can help guide you through some of the most common digital accessibility issues, from insufficient color contrasts to CAPTCHA systems.  

Get the EAA Checklist

Have questions about how to remediate these issues, or how to best plan for full compliance by June 28, 2025? Our team is always happy to help. Reach out today to book a meeting.