Thursday, 5 March 2009

European Union: Transport competition

Looking for amendments to European Union (European Community) legislation is time-consuming. Reading disjointed versions is laborious and prone to errors, especially if several amendments have been made.
Updated and readable legal acts are therefore important for users. Issuing codified versions or at least publishing consolidations of amended legal acts are means to save time and effort for businesses and their advisors.

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Transport competition

One example of such a tidying-up exercise in the field of rail, road and inland waterway transport is:

Council Regulation (EC) No 169/2009 of 26 February 2009 applying rules of competition to transport by rail, road and inland waterway (Codified version), has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 5.3.2009 L 61/1.

The scope of this Regulation, based on Article 83 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) and with EEA relevance, is:

Article 1
Scope

The provisions of this Regulation shall, in the field of transport by rail, road and inland waterway, apply both to all agreements, decisions and concerted practices which have as their object or effect the fixing of transport rates and conditions, the limitation or control of the supply of transport, the sharing of transport markets, the application of technical improvements or technical cooperation, or the joint financing or acquisition of transport equipment or supplies where such operations are directly related to the provision of transport services and are necessary for the joint operation of services by a grouping within the meaning of Article 3 of road or inland waterway transport undertakings, and to the abuse of a dominant position on the transport market. These provisions shall apply also to operations of providers of services ancillary to transport which have any of those objects or effects.


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Balancing act

In principle, the competition rules of the European Community (Articles 81 and 82 TEC) are general, but Article 83(2)(c) provides for rules which take into account ‘the various branches of the economy’. The treaty sees transport as a distinct area, with its special features (Title V), so the rules balance between competition principles and what are perceived as branch concerns.


Ralf Grahn