European Commission consultation on Consortia Block Exemption Regulation
Via our membership of CLECAT, an organisation that represents the interests of the logistics and customs brokerage industry to the EU institutions, BIFA has been monitoring the revision of the shipping lines current block exemption which is due for review.
As advised in BIFAlink the European Commission launched on the 26th September a consultation seeking to collect views from stakeholders to assist the Commission's assessment of the impact and relevance of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation, and to provide evidence for determining whether it should be left to expire or prolonged, and if so, under which conditions. The consultation is open, through the consultation website until 20 December 2018. After this the Commission will review all replies and will publish the stakeholders' submissions, a summary of the main findings and conclusions on the consultation website.
There are 2 ways to contribute to the consultation:
1. Targeted questionnaire: this is available to individual companies, who intend to reply directly to the Commission. DG Competition would like to receive input and feedback from companies through a targeted questionnaire. Interested parties will need to express their interest in participating in the consultation by sending an email to DG COMP's functional mail box COMP-CONSORTIA-EVALUATIONfirstname.lastname@example.org.
On the website the Commission has noted that the deadline for the expression of interest is Friday 12 October 2018. . However, if you e-mail email@example.com with the above-mentioned request for a targeted questionnaire after the deadline of 12 October 2018 we will arrange via CLECAT for them to send the document to you. However, the deadline for responses, i.e. 20 December 2018, will remain unchanged. These facts have been confirmed to CLECAT in writing.
2. Public questionnaire: In addition, DG Competition has launched – for a period of 12 weeks – a public consultation to evaluate the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation. BIFA via CLECAT will respond to this questionnaire. A copy (pdf) of the questionnaire is included below.
Having spoken to CLECAT, partial completion of the completed public questionnaire is acceptable because particularly on the practical matters of service, shrinking choice etc. we are anxious to convey Member concerns to the Regulators
The repeal of block exemptions is unlikely to result in the end of alliances but may deter potential anticompetitive behaviour in the sector. However, in case the block exemption is extended, we recommend limiting its scope, in particular by excluding information exchange on certain (particularly on inland transport information) and joint purchasing, and by reviewing market definitions as the 30% market share has become obsolete.
Links to relevant documents
Please complete as much of the Public Questionnaire as you can and please return to firstname.lastname@example.org