Competition Law applicable to the Motor Vehicle SectorThroughout the years, CECRA has lobbied for the maintenance and renewal of a specific motor vehicles block exemption regulation. The reason why a renewal of existing motor vehicle regulation is so important for our members is because it:
- Maintains fair competition for an optimal service to consumers.
- Maintains multi-branding in all its forms.
- Gives legal certainty without resort to courts, which would become systematic under the current Commission’s proposal.
- Gives freedom of enterprise for Motor Retail and Repair Industry businesses,
- Repairing vehicles and maintaining them is an environmental key factor.
- Maintains undistorted competition in after-sales.
- Avoids the loss of the investments made since the entry into force of the current Regulation.
- Maintains a transparent framework for the operators in a market where powers are, by nature, unbalanced.
The European Motor Vehicle Distribution and Repair Sectors want a number of fundamental rules to be maintained in their future legal framework:For the primary market:
- The freedom of enterprise ensured by the implementation of contractual rules.
- The rules applicable to multi-branding.
- The access to technical information, tools & parts
Legislation - Competition Law applicable to the Motor Vehicle SectorThe activities of the Commission's competition department in the anti-trust field involve the application of Articles 101, 102 and 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly 81, 82, and 86 of the EC Treaty). The motor vehicle sector has its own "block exemption" which is a safe harbour that exempts a whole category of motor vehicle distribution and repair agreements from the prohibition laid down in Article 101(1).
Agreements can benefit from the block exemption so long as they do not contain any serious restrictions of competition and meet the other conditions laid down by the Regulation. The task of the Commission's competition department is to monitor the effects of this Regulation on the relevant markets and to provide appropriate guidance to all interested parties as regards interpretation. It does so in close liaison with the competition authorities of the Member States.
New Block Exemption RegulationCommission Regulation (EU) 461/2010 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector – EN FR DE Other
The provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1400/2002 on vertical agreements for the purchase, sale or resale of new motor vehicles still apply until 31 May 2013.
The new Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation will be valid for 13 years until 2023. The Commission will constantly monitor the situation in the markets for motor vehicle and spare parts distribution, as well as in the market for the provision of repair and maintenance services. The Commission will also monitor the application of the Regulation, in cooperation with National Competition Authorities and stakeholders.
Commission GuidelinesSupplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in agreements for the sale and repair of motor vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts for motor vehicles – EN FR DE Other
CECRA's Press Release
Contractual clauses: Code of ConductCommission Regulation (EC) no. 1400/2002 on the application of article 81, paragraph 3 of the EC Treaty to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector contains provisions related to contractual relationships between motor vehicles manufacturers and dealers or authorised repairers.
The European Commission does not intend to extend the said regulation no. 1400/2002, which will expire on 31 May 2010 for the aftermarket and on the 1st June 2013 for the primary market; that means that the provisions set out in the previous point shall no longer apply.
Therefore, CECRA proposes a Code of Contractual clauses and practices to be respected in Vehicle Manufacturer / Authorised Dealers and Repairer contractual relations.
CECRA's Code of Contractual Clauses and practices
European Parliament - Joaquín Almunia Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Competition policy Introductory remarks to European Parliament on review of Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation European Parliament Plenary Session Brussels, 5 May 2010 – Speech/10/214 - Press release
MVBER Review stages/procedures
Resolution of the European Parliament
CECRA's Press release
December 2009: Draft Regulation and draft guidelinesThe Commission published a draft Regulation on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices ("Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation") and draft Supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in the motor vehicle sector. EN FR DE
CECRA Response to the EC’s Public Consultation on “The Future Competition Law Framework applicable to the Motor Vehicle Sector” – Code of contractual clauses and practices
CECRA's Press release
CECRA's Press release
July 2009 – Communication and Impact Assessment Report of the Commission: the future competition law frameworkThe Commission adopted a Communication setting out the key elements of the competition regime which will apply to the motor vehicle sector after the expiry of the current Block exemption Regulation n° 1400/2002. The Commission's Communication is accompanied by an Impact Assessment Report.
CECRA Response to the EC’s Communication on “The Future Regulatory Framework for Competition in the Automotive Sector”
February 2009: Roundtable on future competition law frameworkSynopsis of the roundtable with leading figures from the main stakeholder groups to discuss the future of block exemption regulation 1400/2002.
Commissioner Kroes held a roundtable with leading figures from the main stakeholder groups to discuss the future of block exemption regulation 1400/2002.
CECRA's Press release
EC’s Press release
Commissioner's closing remarks to the roundtable
Issues Paper on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation
May 2008: Evaluation Report on Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002Commission Evaluation Report on the operation of Regulation (EC) N° 1400/2002 concerning motor vehicle distribution and servicing – EN FR DE Other
CECRA Executive Summary Comments to EC Evaluation Report on the operation of the Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002
CECRA Response on EC Evaluation Report on the operation of the Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002
For more information, please consult DG Competition webpage.
Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002Commission Regulation 1400/2002 of 31 July 2002 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector. - Official Journal L 203, 01.08.2002, pages 30-4.1 – EN FR DE other
Explanatory brochure for Commission Regulation (EC) No 1400/2002 of 31 July 2002 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector – EN FR EN other
Frequently asked questions on the new motor vehicle block exemption – EN FR DE other