DSC Ger­many – the Dig­i­tal Services Co­or­di­na­tor

Safe and free online
Single contact point for users and intermediary between players

Here you can find the initial information in preparation for our possible future function as the Digital Services Coordinator (DSC). Wide-ranging, detailed information about consumer rights, complaints systems, requirements to apply to out-of-court dispute settlement bodies, trusted flagger certifications, data access for researchers and information for market participants and authorities will be published on the DSC website once the German Digital Services Act (DDG) has entered into force and the DSC has started work.

What does the DSA regulate?

The EU Digital Services Act (DSA) creates the first EU-wide, harmonised, comprehensive framework of rules for almost all digital services offered to users in the EU, from major online marketplaces and social media platforms to comparison and booking portals, employment websites, exchange platforms, cloud services and app stores.

The aim of the DSA is to promote fairness and transparency in digital services and platforms across the EU and to tackle illegal content. The main elements of the new rules are liability regulations as well as due diligence and transparency obligations and information requirements for providers, complaint and dispute settlement mechanisms, and notice and action mechanisms for illegal content. They protect users and provide companies with legal certainty. Further due diligence obligations to protect consumers apply to online marketplaces, for example.

Since 25 August 2023, the DSA rules have applied to very large online platforms (VLOPs) and very large online search engines (VLOSEs), that is, those with more than 45mn active users in the EU. These are 17 providers have been designated by the European Commission. The providers of these services are subject to the strictest rules and obligations, which are also directly monitored and enforced by the Commission.

The DSA rules also apply directly to all other "smaller" providers and digital services as of 17 February 2024. 

What role does the Bundesnetzagentur play?

Supervision of these providers and enforcement of the DSA rules are the responsibility of the individual Member States, which set up national Digital Services Coordinators for this purpose.

In Germany the tasks to be carried out by the competent authorities will be set out in the DDG. The draft of the law was adopted by the federal cabinet on 20 December 2023 (press release, in German) and had its first reading in the Bundestag on 18 January 2024. The tasks and areas of competence of the authorities and the setting up of the national coordinator's office are regulated in the draft law. It envisages that the Bundesnetzagentur will be the German national Digital Services Coordinator, but the final decision on this lies with the legislature.

The Bundesnetzagentur does not yet have any competence arising from the DSA and cannot act as DSC until the DDG comes into force.

Information for providers

The DSA requires providers of hosting services to inform their users of the content moderation decisions they take and explain the reasons behind those decisions.

To enhance transparency and facilitate scrutiny over content moderation decisions, providers of online platforms need to submit these statements of reasons to the DSA Transparency Database established by the EC.

To do so, providers of online platforms need to register on the DSA Transparency Database.

The registration form may be accessed at

Studies and research projects 
The Bundesnetzagentur commissioned the following studY in advance, in preparation for its potential role as DSC.

The study "Studie „Umsetzung des Digital Services Act in Deutschland - Bestandsaufnahme der relevanten Akteure“ (pdf / 2 MB)" first describes the different types of online services that come under the DSA and differentiates them. A database listing the relevant providers of digital services under the DSA by type was also set up as part of this study, giving an initial overview of the market players.

What tasks does the DSC have?

The DSC makes sure that people can act safely and freely online.

As the single contact point, it helps users to find the right place to contact when they have concerns and problems relating to services and online platforms. It also monitors compliance of the online platforms with the DSA rules. The DSC acts as an intermediary between online services/platforms and users and representatives of civil society such as trusted flaggers, researchers, consumer protection organisations, etc. The DSC pays particular attention that service providers and online platforms have effective and transparent procedures for dealing with and deciding about notifications of illegal content. However, it is not responsible for removing or disabling access to content, or for the relevant removal orders.

The main areas of competence of the DSC will be:

  • acting as a central point for complaints by online users (consumers and other users) in the event of breaches of the DSA/DDG and coordinating with other judicial and administrative authorities;
  • certification of out-of-court dispute settlement bodies;
  • certification as trusted flagger;
  • vetting of researchers for access to data of very large online platforms and search engines in accordance with the DSA.

Comprehensive, detailed information on all tasks and issues of the DSC will be available on the DSC website once the DDG has entered into force.

When will the Bundesnetzagentur take up its role as the DSC?

The Bundesnetzagentur will start its function as the DSC when the DDG enters into force and will then perform the duties assigned to it. Until then, it does not have any competence arising from the DSA and cannot yet act in this function.

How is the Bundesnetzagentur preparing for its role as the DSC?

A task force is responsible for the creation of the organisational and staffing structure, the concept and implementation of processes and IT processes, including online forms for applications and complaints, as well as establishing interfaces to other national and international bodies.

The Bundesnetzagentur is already in contact with a wide range of authorities, associations and representatives of civil society about the general applicability of the DSA rules and the resulting obligations and measures.

As an online user, how can I make a complaint about a provider or service?

Once the DDG has entered into force, you will find an online form on the DSC website for the simple, informal submission of complaints.

The exact requirements for a complaint will be given there too.

As a user/consumer, what can I complain about?

Some of the possible reasons for making a complaint are:

  • restrictions on use of digital services (blocked accounts, removal of specific content, temporary blocks on services);
  • breaches of notification or transparency obligations by an online platform (no means of contacting the platform or missing, hidden, or incomprehensible terms and conditions);
  • problems complaining about illegal content on an online platform.

Information on complaints about illegal content:

The DSC cannot itself remove or disable access to illegal content (such as hate speech, insults, the offering of illegal products, copyright infringements) or order the removal or disabling of such content. The DSC ensures that service providers and online platforms have effective and transparent procedures for dealing with and deciding about notifications of such content.

How do you become a "trusted flagger" or a "vetted researcher" and gain access to platform data under the DSA?
How does the certification as an out-of-court dispute settlement body work?

There are applications for certification as an out-of-court dispute settlement body, for recognition of trusted flagger status and to become a vetted researcher. The certification/vetting is granted when the criteria set out in Article 21, Article 22 or Article 40 DSA are met. For VLOPs and VLOSEs, the DSC where the provider has its headquarters is responsible (this is usually Ireland). The application may either be made directly there or made here and passed on.

However, until the DDG enters into force, the Bundesnetzagentur does not have any competence arising from the DSA and cannot yet issue any certification. As soon as the DDG enters into force, an online application form will be added to the DSC website along with detailed information about the requirements and the process as well as further information for all parties.