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Document C:2019:386:FULL

Official Journal of the European Union, C 386, 14 November 2019


Display all documents published in this Official Journal
 

ISSN 1977-091X

Official Journal

of the European Union

C 386

European flag  

English edition

Information and Notices

Volume 62
14 November 2019


Contents

page

 

II   Information

 

JOINT DECLARATIONS

 

Council

2019/C 386/01

Joint statement of the European Parliament and of the Council

1


 

IV   Notices

 

NOTICES FROM EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS, BODIES, OFFICES AND AGENCIES

 

Council

2019/C 386/02

The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes — Report by the Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) suggesting amendments to the Annexes of the Council conclusions of 12 March 2019, including the de-listing of one jurisdiction

2

 

European Commission

2019/C 386/03

Euro exchange rates — 13 November 2019

5

2019/C 386/04

COMMISSION NOTICE Guidance document on the export, re-export, import and intra-Union trade of rhinoceros horns

6

2019/C 386/05

Commission notice Guidance document regarding application of exemptions under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU) – Articles 1(3), 2(4) and 2(5)

12

2019/C 386/06

Opinion of the Advisory Committee on restrictive practices and dominant positions at its meeting of 5 July 2019 concerning a preliminary draft decision relating to Case AT.40432 — Character Merchandise Rapporteur: Slovenia ( 1 )

21

2019/C 386/07

Final Report of the Hearing Officer Case AT.40432 — Character merchandise ( 1 )

22

2019/C 386/08

Summary of Commission Decision of 9 July 2019 relating to proceedings under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (Case AT.40432 — Character merchandise) (notified under document number C(2019) 5087 final)  ( 1 )

24


 

V   Announcements

 

PROCEDURES RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMPETITION POLICY

 

European Commission

2019/C 386/09

Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.9567 — PGGM/Macquarie/Genesee &Wyoming Australia) Candidate case for simplified procedure ( 1 )

28

2019/C 386/10

Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.9580 — Permira/Smith & Wiliamson) Candidate case for simplified procedure ( 1 )

30

2019/C 386/11

Prior notification of a concentration (Case M.9611 — Pavilion Energy/Iberdrola Group (European LNG Asset Portfolio)) Candidate case for simplified procedure ( 1 )

32


 


 

(1)   Text with EEA relevance.

EN

 


II Information

JOINT DECLARATIONS

Council

14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/1


JOINT STATEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

(2019/C 386/01)

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency is expected to face challenging circumstances in the coming years to fulfil exceptional needs for recruiting, training and retaining qualified staff from the broadest possible geographical basis. In view of the Agency’s mandate and the important number of its staff, it is essential to explore mechanisms which would allow to ensure the attractiveness of the Agency as an employer by adapting the remunerations of the staff of the Agency in Warsaw, in accordance with the applicable Union law.

The European Parliament and the Council therefore call upon the Commission to assess the basis and modalities for any such appropriate mechanism, in particular when presenting the proposals for the revision of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the Union, laid down in Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 259/68 (1). Any such mechanism shall be proportionate to the importance of the objectives pursued and not give rise to unequal treatment among staff of the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies if such Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies are confronted with a similar situation.


(1)  OJ L 56, 4.3.1968, p. 1.


IV Notices

NOTICES FROM EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS, BODIES, OFFICES AND AGENCIES

Council

14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/2


The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes — Report by the Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) suggesting amendments to the Annexes of the Council conclusions of 12 March 2019, including the de-listing of one jurisdiction

(2019/C 386/02)

With effect from the day of publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, Annexes I and II of the Council conclusions of 12 March 2019 on the revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes (1), as amended on 22 May 2019 (2), 21 June 2019 (3) and 17 October 2019 (4), are replaced by the following new Annexes I and II:

‘ANNEX I

The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes

1.   American Samoa

American Samoa does not apply any automatic exchange of financial information, has not signed and ratified, including through the jurisdiction they are dependent on, the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended, did not commit to apply the BEPS minimum standards and did not commit to addressing these issues.

2.   Fiji

Fiji has not yet amended or abolished its harmful preferential tax regimes.

Fiji’s commitment to comply with criteria 1.2, 1.3 and 3.1 by the end of 2019 will continue to be monitored.

3.   Guam

Guam does not apply any automatic exchange of financial information, has not signed and ratified, including through the jurisdiction they are dependent on, the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended, did not commit to apply the BEPS minimum standards and did not commit to addressing these issues.

4.   Oman

Oman does not apply any automatic exchange of financial information, has not signed and ratified the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended, and has not yet resolved these issues.

5.   Samoa

Samoa has a harmful preferential tax regime and did not commit to addressing this issue.

Furthermore, Samoa committed to comply with criterion 3.1 by the end of 2018 but has not resolved this issue.

6.   Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has a “Non-Compliant” rating by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes for Exchange of Information on Request.

Trinidad and Tobago’s commitment to comply with criteria 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 2.1 by the end of 2019 will be monitored.

7.   US Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands does not apply any automatic exchange of financial information, has not signed and ratified, including through the jurisdiction they are dependent on, the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended, has harmful preferential tax regimes, did not commit to apply the BEPS minimum standards and did not commit to addressing these issues.

8.   Vanuatu

Vanuatu facilitates offshore structures and arrangements aimed at attracting profits without real economic substance and has not yet resolved this issue.

‘ANNEX II

State of play of the cooperation with the EU with respect to commitments taken to implement tax good governance principles

1.   Transparency

1.1.   Commitment to implement the automatic exchange of information, either by signing the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement or through bilateral agreements

The following jurisdictions are committed to implement automatic exchange of information by end 2019:

Palau and Turkey

1.2.   Membership of the Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes (“Global Forum”) and satisfactory rating in relation to exchange of information on request

The following jurisdictions, which committed to have a sufficient rating by end 2018, are waiting for a supplementary review by the Global Forum:

Anguilla, Marshall Islands and Curaçao

The following jurisdictions are committed to become member of the Global Forum and/or have a sufficient rating by end 2019:

Jordan, Palau, Turkey and Vietnam

1.3.   Signatory and ratification of the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance (MAC) or network of agreements covering all EU Member States

The following jurisdictions are committed to sign and ratify the MAC or to have in place a network of agreements covering all EU Member States by end 2019:

Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Eswatini, Jordan, Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Palau, Thailand and Vietnam

2.   Fair Taxation

2.1.   Existence of harmful tax regimes

The following jurisdiction, which committed to amend or abolish its harmful tax regimes covering manufacturing activities and similar non-highly mobile activities by end 2018 and demonstrated tangible progress in initiating these reforms in 2018, was granted until end 2019 to adapt its legislation:

Morocco

The following jurisdictions, which committed to amend or abolish their harmful tax regimes by end 2018 but were prevented from doing so due to genuine institutional or constitutional issues despite tangible progress in 2018, were granted until end 2019 to adapt their legislation:

Cook Islands and Maldives

The following jurisdictions are committed to amend or abolish harmful tax regimes by end 2019:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Belize, Curaçao, Morocco, Namibia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Seychelles

The following jurisdiction is committed to amend or abolish a harmful tax regime by end 2020:

Jordan

2.2.   Existence of tax regimes that facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity

The following jurisdictions, which committed to addressing the concerns relating to economic substance in the area of collective investment funds, have engaged in a positive dialogue with the Group and have remained cooperative, were granted until end 2019 to adapt their legislation:

Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands

The following jurisdiction is committed to addressing the concerns related to economic substance by end 2019:

Barbados

3.   Anti-BEPS Measures

3.1.   Membership of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS or commitment to implementation of OECD anti-BEPS minimum standards

The following jurisdictions are committed to become member of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS or implement OECD anti-BEPS minimum standards by end 2019:

Jordan and Montenegro

The following jurisdictions are committed to become member of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS or implement OECD anti-BEPS minimum standards if and when such commitment will become relevant:

Nauru, Niue and Palau.


(1)  OJ C 114, 26.3.2019, p. 2.

(2)  OJ C 176, 22.5.2019, p. 2.

(3)  OJ C 210, 21.6.2019, p. 8.

(4)  OJ C 351, 17.10.2019, p. 7.


European Commission

14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/5


Euro exchange rates (1)

13 November 2019

(2019/C 386/03)

1 euro =


 

Currency

Exchange rate

USD

US dollar

1,1006

JPY

Japanese yen

119,79

DKK

Danish krone

7,4725

GBP

Pound sterling

0,85760

SEK

Swedish krona

10,7353

CHF

Swiss franc

1,0894

ISK

Iceland króna

137,70

NOK

Norwegian krone

10,1390

BGN

Bulgarian lev

1,9558

CZK

Czech koruna

25,591

HUF

Hungarian forint

334,75

PLN

Polish zloty

4,2874

RON

Romanian leu

4,7633

TRY

Turkish lira

6,3316

AUD

Australian dollar

1,6127

CAD

Canadian dollar

1,4592

HKD

Hong Kong dollar

8,6204

NZD

New Zealand dollar

1,7228

SGD

Singapore dollar

1,5000

KRW

South Korean won

1 288,15

ZAR

South African rand

16,4441

CNY

Chinese yuan renminbi

7,7281

HRK

Croatian kuna

7,4415

IDR

Indonesian rupiah

15 522,75

MYR

Malaysian ringgit

4,5713

PHP

Philippine peso

56,025

RUB

Russian rouble

70,8149

THB

Thai baht

33,277

BRL

Brazilian real

4,6017

MXN

Mexican peso

21,3723

INR

Indian rupee

79,3190


(1)  Source: reference exchange rate published by the ECB.


14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/6


COMMISSION NOTICE

Guidance document on the export, re-export, import and intra-Union trade of rhinoceros horns

(2019/C 386/04)

1.   Background information on the conservation of rhinoceros and the threats posed by poaching and illegal trade

All rhinoceros species are included in CITES Appendix I, with the exception of populations of southern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum) from South Africa and Eswatini, which are listed in Appendix II.

Poaching of rhinos in Africa increased for six consecutive years from 2009-2015 to peak at almost 3.7 rhinos per day in 2015, albeit at a slowing rate of increase from 2013-2015 (1). While recorded poaching levels have declined since 2015, poaching still remains at high levels with around 3.1 rhinos per day poached in 2017. The decline in poaching from 2015 appears to have continued into 2018, with reported poaching in the first eight to nine months of the year remaining low or falling in many range States (2). Previous increases in populations of white and black rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum and Diceros bicornis) resulting from strong conservation measures across range States in the last decades, notably in South Africa, are thus undermined by ongoing rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking.

Organised crime operators have also been active across the EU to acquire and trade rhino horns. While the introduction into the EU of rhinos and derived products is not allowed for commercial purposes, their introduction can be authorised under certain conditions e.g. as hunting trophies (3). These hunting trophies are considered as personal and household effects under Article 57 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 (4). They cannot be sold or otherwise used for commercial purposes and must remain in the property of the hunter after the import. In recent years, the provisions on trade in hunting trophies for rhino specimens have been deliberately misused by networks paying hunters to go on rhino hunting safaris in e.g. South Africa. This modus operandi of hiring ‘pseudo-hunters’ and even ‘bona fide hunters’ has been used widely by criminal networks operating in the EU, as investigations in certain Member States and third countries have shown. After the import of the trophy, the networks take possession of the horns and smuggle them to Asia.

Before the adoption of the first version of this guidance document in February 2011, a number of Member States noticed an increase in intra-EU trade and re-export of rhino horns presented as ‘antiques’ or ‘worked specimens’. In many cases investigations revealed that the motivation of buyers had little to do with the artistic nature of the objects. An indication for this was that the prices for such products were mainly correlated with their weight, rather than with their artistic value.

In 2010 two Member States adopted a strict reading of Union legislation on re-export of rhino products. Other Member States then received applications for re-export or requests for information on how such applications would be handled by them. This indicated that some traders were trying to circumvent the two regimes and find other ways to re-export the items from the EU.

Another indication of continued threats is that, while the number of thefts of rhino horns in museums, auction houses and antique or taxidermist shops recently decreased substantively, for the first time a rhino was killed for its horns in a European zoological park in March 2017 (5).

There is a strong presumption that re-exports of rhino horns from the EU might fuel the demand for rhino horns, predominantly for medical use, in Asia and maintain the high prices or even drive them further upwards. It seems that in many Member States there are coordinated attempts by some traders to acquire rhino horns with the purpose of (re-)exporting them to Asia. In turn, such high demand for high-value products also represents a lucrative market which is very attractive to poachers, encouraging illicit trade and criminal activities. This further imperils the conservation of the remaining rhino populations.

2.   Purpose and status of this document

The Union’s regulatory framework on wildlife trade needs to be interpreted in the light of its objectives, the precautionary principle, and with due regard to knowledge of recent developments. Member States need to continue enforcing EU legislation on wildlife trade in a manner that contributes to the protection and conservation of the species.

Guidance is needed to ensure all Member States have a common approach for export and re-export of rhino products (section 3.a), for intra-EU trade in rhino horns (section 3.b), for import into the EU of rhino products declared as ‘hunting trophies’ (section 4), as well as for other imports into the EU of worked and raw specimens of rhino horn for personal non-commercial use (section 5).

This guidance document was prepared by Commission staff and a draft was endorsed by the Committee on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora, established pursuant to Article 18 of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 (6) (‘the Basic Regulation’), and thus by the competent authorities of the Member States.

The guidance document is intended to assist national authorities in the application of Regulation (EC) No 338/97. It is not legally binding; its sole purpose is to provide information on certain aspects of Regulation (EU) No 338/97 and Regulation (EC) No 865/2006, and on measures considered to be best practice. It does not replace, add to or amend the provisions of applicable Union law. The document should also not be considered in isolation; it must be used in conjunction with the legislation, including other relevant legislation on imports of animal products, and not as a ‘stand-alone’ reference. Only the Court of Justice of the European Union is competent to authoritatively interpret Union law.

The document will be published electronically by the Commission services, and may be published by the Member States. It will be reviewed by the Union’s Committee on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in due course.

3.   Guidance on the interpretation of EU rules on export, re-export and intra-EU trade of rhino horns

Acts of Union law must be interpreted in accordance with their aims. Article 1 of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 provides that its aim is ‘to protect species of wild fauna and flora and to guarantee their conservation by regulating trade therein’. The provisions of the Regulation must therefore be construed in a manner consistent with that aim.

Moreover, Article 191(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that environmental policy is to be based on the precautionary principle. This implies that if an action or policy risks resulting in serious or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent such damage. The principle aims at ensuring a higher level of environmental protection through preventive decision-making in the case of such risks.

In accordance with the settled case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the precautionary principle applies, inter alia, in the interpretation and application of the Union environmental acquis, and therefore also to the interpretation and application of the Basic Regulation. Member States should apply the precautionary principle in exercising their discretion pursuant to the Basic Regulation. (7)

(a)   Applications for permits or certificates pursuant to Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 338/97 (export and re-export)

Pursuant to Article 5(2)(d) of the Basic Regulation, when assessing applications for export and re-export of rhino horns, Member States’ Management Authorities need to be ‘satisfied, following consultation with the competent Scientific Authority, that there are no other factors relating to the conservation of the species which militate against issuance of the export permit’ (emphasis added). This provision applies to applications for export permits as well as — pursuant to Article 5(3) — to re-export certificates for specimens of Annex A and Annex B species. The condition applies to all rhino horn specimens, independently of whether they are considered ‘worked specimens’ or not (8).

In the current circumstances, in the light of the precautionary principle, and unless there comes to light conclusive scientific evidence to the contrary, Member States should consider that there are indeed serious factors relating to the conservation of rhino species that militate against the issuance of export permits and re-export certificates.

It is therefore considered legitimate for the Member States to ensure that, as a temporary measure, no export permits or re-export certificates are issued for rhino horns, except if the Management Authority is satisfied that the permit or certificate will be used for legitimate purposes, such as in the following cases:

i.

the item is part of a genuine exchange of cultural or artistic goods between reputable institutions (i.e. museums);

ii.

the item is a recognised piece of art and the Management Authority is confident that its value ensures that it will not be used for other purposes;

iii.

the item has not been sold and is an heirloom moving as part of a family relocation or as part of a bequest; or

iv.

the item is part of a bona fide research project.

Any stricter measures by third countries, which may include general import bans for rhino horns, should also be taken into account. In that context, before issuing a re-export certificate or export permit under the conditions set out in this section, the Member State concerned should inform the CITES authorities of the country of destination about the transaction and request them to verify that they are in agreement with the import of that specimen.

In any case, the identities of the exporter and of the importer should be verified and recorded (e.g. by keeping a copy of their identification documents).

(b)   Applications for certificates pursuant to Article 8(3) of Regulation (EC) No 338/97 (intra-EU trade)

Intra-EU commercial trade of Annex A specimens is prohibited under Article 8(1) of the Basic Regulation. An exception is provided for in Article 8(3) of that Regulation, which authorises Member States to derogate from this prohibition if certain conditions (listed in subparagraphs (a) to (h)) are met (9). The use of the term ‘may’ in Article 8(3) (10) implies that Member States are not generally obliged to grant a certificate for intra-EU trade even when those conditions are met, except if otherwise required by Union law. In other words, Article 8(3) cannot be considered as conferring the right to an applicant to obtain a certificate for intra-EU trade. Member States can refuse to grant a certificate if this is appropriate to protect the species or to guarantee its conservation, and if the refusal does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve that aim. The Commission services and the Union’s Committee on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora are of the view that this will be the case where the legitimacy and consistency of a transaction with the objectives of the Basic Regulation have not been conclusively demonstrated by the applicant.

Due to the circumstances described in the first section of the present document, Member States should, as a temporary measure, in principle not grant any certificate for intra-EU trade of rhino horn under Article 8(3).

Where provisions under the domestic law of a Member State do not allow its authorities to refuse applications for intra-EU certificates for commercial trade in rhino horns on the basis of Article 8(3) as recommended above, and where specimens are traded for non-commercial purposes within the EU (change of ownership due to donation or inheritance to a private or public entity — such as a museum, for example), the Member State’s CITES Management Authority should follow a risk-based approach and ensure maximum scrutiny in handling applications for intra-EU certificates.

If issued, an intra-EU certificate should describe the item concerned with sufficient detail to ensure that it can only be used for the specific specimen concerned and cannot be used for laundering of other specimens. In addition and where legislation allows, Member States may consider collating, verifying and recording identities of the applicant and of the purchaser (e.g. by keeping a copy of their identification documents).

Finally, certificates for intra-EU trade should be issued on a transaction-specific basis — allowing one transaction only — to ensure that the certificate only is valid for the holder named in box 1 of the certificate. This recommendation is based on the second subparagraph of Article 11(3) of Regulation (EC) No 865/2006, allowing Member States to ‘issue transaction-specific certificates where it is considered that there are other factors relating to the conservation of the species that militate against the issuance of a specimen-specific certificate.’

4.   Guidance on the interpretation of EU rules on imports into the EU of rhino ‘hunting trophies’ pursuant to Article 57 of Regulation (EC) No 865/2006

To address the problem of the deliberate misuse of the provisions on trade in hunting trophies, the CITES Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force has recommended to ‘implement legislation and enforcement controls to prevent horns that are part of legally acquired trophies from being used for purposes other than hunting trophies, and to ensure that these trophies remain in possession of their owners for the purpose indicated in the CITES export permit’ (11).

In that context, it is recommended that Member States, when processing an import application for hunting trophies of rhinoceros specimens:

i.

as always, consult whether the Scientific Authorities determined that the introduction into the EU will have a harmful effect on the conservation of the species — no further measures are needed and the application must be rejected if a non-detriment finding cannot be made;

ii.

pay particular attention to the hunting experience of the applicant;

iii.

inform the applicant that the import into the EU can be authorised for personal use only and that there is no possibility for the owners of hunting trophies to be granted a certificate for a commercial purposes within the Union under Article 8(3)(c);

iv.

if necessary, contact the CITES management authority of the exporting country to ensure they are aware of the planned hunt and intended export, and do not have information militating against the issuance of the import permit;

v.

when (after duly verifying that all conditions are met in accordance with the Basic Regulation and associated Commission Regulations) issuing the import permit, include the following notice: ‘Import of this hunting trophy is for personal use only. The item shall remain in the property of the holder of this permit. It shall be presented to competent authorities upon their request’;

vi.

if possible under national legislation, carry out risk-based checks on importers of rhino hunting trophies imported after 2009 (12) to verify that they are still in possession of the trophies. The results of those checks should be shared with the other Member States, the European Commission and the CITES Secretariat.

When a higher risk has been identified of a hunting trophy being subsequently misused for illegal trade, Member States may consider issuing an import permit for a hunting trophy with the condition that it would not contain the rhino horn (e.g. replacing it with an artificial replica).

5.   Guidance on the interpretation of EU rules on imports into the EU of worked and raw specimens of rhino horn for other types of personal non-commercial use

Member States should pay particular attention and exercise great vigilance in relation to all applications for imports of specimens of rhino horn — worked and raw specimens other than hunting trophies — for personal purposes. The Scientific Authority Guidelines (13) should be taken into account when assessing how to interpret the rules applicable to imports of Annex A specimens and what ‘other purposes’ can be considered as not detrimental to the conservation of the species.


(1)  Emslie, R., Milliken, T. and Talukdar, B. (2016). African and Asian Rhinoceroses — Status, Conservation and Trade. Available at https://rhinos.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/final-cop16-rhino-rpt.pdf

(2)  Rhinoceroses (Rhinocerotidae spp.) — Report of the Standing Committee and the Secretariat, CoP18 Doc. 83.1, available at https://cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/cop/18/doc/E-CoP18-083-01.pdf

(3)  ‘Hunting trophy’ is defined in Article 1(4b) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006.

(4)  OJ L 166, 19.6.2006, p. 1.

(5)  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39194844

(6)  OJ L 61, 3.3.1997, p. 1.

(7)  For further considerations on the application of the precautionary principle, please refer also to the Communication from the Commission on the precautionary principle of 2 February 2000, COM(2000) 1 — https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A52000DC0001

(8)  See Commission Notice — Guidance on Worked Specimens under the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, OJ C 154, 17.5.2017, p. 15-26 — https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2017.154.01.0015.01.ENG

(9)  Cf. paragraph 34 of the ruling of the European Court of Justice in Case C-510/99: ‘That provision authorises, but does not require, exemptions from the prohibition it lays down’.

(10)  Article 8(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 reads: ‘In accordance with the requirements of other Community legislation on the conservation of wild fauna and flora, exemption from the prohibitions referred to in paragraph 1 may be granted by issuance of a certificate to that effect by a management authority of the Member State in which the specimens are located, on a case-by-case basis where the specimens.’

(11)  See http://cites.org/sites/default/files/notif/E-Notif-2014-006A.pdf

(12)  For imports of rhino hunting trophies which occurred before the entry into force of the requirement for an import permit, it should be possible, upon request, to obtain information on successful applicants for rhino hunting trophies from the exporting countries.

(13)  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/pdf/srg/guidelines.pdf, p. 11 and 12


ANNEX

Relevant CITES decisions and recommendations

At the CITES Conference of the Parties in 2017 (CoP17), Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP17) (1) was amended, and all Parties were urged to:

‘[1.]

a)

adopt and implement comprehensive legislation and enforcement controls, including internal trade restrictions and penalties:

i)

aimed at reducing illegal trade in rhinoceros parts and derivatives, including any specimen that appears from an accompanying document, the packaging, a mark or label, or from any other circumstances, to be a rhinoceros part or derivative;

[…]

i)

consider introducing stricter domestic measures to regulate the re-export of rhinoceros horn products from any source.’

Also at CITES CoP17, Decision 17.133 (2) was adopted, according to which Parties should:

‘review their implementation of Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP17) on Conservation of and trade in African and Asian rhinoceroses, and the strategies and proposed actions developed by the CITES Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force contained in the Annex to Notification to the Parties No 2014/006 of 23 January 2014, to achieve good implementation of the Resolution and the strategies and proposed actions, and to increase the effectiveness of the law-enforcement response to rhinoceros poaching and rhinoceros horn trafficking.’

According to the strategies and proposed actions developed by the CITES Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force (3):

‘1.

All Parties should: […]

k)

Implement measures to monitor the activities of auction houses, auctioneers and the antiques trade, as appropriate, to prevent the illegal trade in rhinoceros horns;

[…]

2.

All countries implicated in the illegal trade of rhinoceros horn as range, transit or destination States should:

g)

Implement legislation and enforcement controls to prevent horns that are part of legally acquired trophies from being used for purposes other than hunting trophies, and to ensure that these trophies remain in possession of their owners for the purpose indicated in the CITES export permit’.


(1)  See https://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/document/E-Res-09-14-R17.pdf

(2)  See https://cites.org/eng/dec/valid17/81850

(3)  See http://cites.org/sites/default/files/notif/E-Notif-2014-006A.pdf


14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/12


COMMISSION NOTICE

Guidance document regarding application of exemptions under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU) – Articles 1(3), 2(4) and 2(5)

(2019/C 386/05)

Table of contents

Page

1.

Introduction 12

2.

Defence and response to civil emergencies – Article 1(3) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 13

3.

Exceptional cases — Article 2(4) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 14

 

Provisions of the Directive 15

 

Transposition 15

 

Meaning of exceptional cases 15

 

Confidentiality constraints 16

 

Meeting the objectives of the Directive 17

 

Consideration of other forms of assessment and public involvement 17

 

Obligation to inform the Commission 18

4.

Legislative acts – Article 2(5) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 18

 

Defining projects adopted by a national legislative act 19

 

Judicial control for projects adopted by a national legislative act 19

5.

Summary of the main points 20

1.   Introduction

1.1.

This document provides up-to-date information concerning the application of Articles 1(3), 2(4) and 2(5) of Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU (the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive). These Articles provide for exemptions from the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. This guidance document incorporates the previous Commission document, ‘Clarification of the application of Article 2(3) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive’, and updates it where necessary.

1.2.

Article 1(3) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive provides for possibilities to exempt from its scope projects, or parts of projects, if their sole purpose is defence or response to civil emergencies. If the conditions of that provision are met, Member States do not need to apply the Directive.

1.3.

Under Article 2(4) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, Member States may, in exceptional cases, and provided that the Directive’s objectives are met, exempt specific projects from the Directive’s provisions, if applying those provisions would run counter to the purpose of the project. The Environmental Impact Assessment Directive specifies the procedures that Member States and the Commission must follow when an exemption from an environmental impact assessment is invoked under Article 2(4). However, the Directive provides no indication of how the term ‘exceptional cases’ should be interpreted, and experience shows that doubts may arise as to when the provisions of this Article can be legitimately invoked. Other conditions have to be met when applying this exemption (without prejudice to Article 7 and with the necessity of meeting the Directive’s objectives).

1.4.

Article 2(5) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive allows for the possibility of exempting a project from the provisions on public consultation, where a project is adopted by a specific act of national legislation. As with exemptions under Article 2(4), other conditions must be met when applying this exemption (without prejudice to Article 7 and with the necessity of meeting the Directive’s objectives).

1.5.

This notice is intended to help national authorities apply the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. Only the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is competent to authoritatively interpret EU law.

1.6.

To be able to rely on these exemptions, Member States must fully transpose the relevant provisions of the Directive into national law.

2.   Defence and response to civil emergencies — Article 1(3) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Article 1(3) of Directive 2011/92/EU as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU

Article 1(3) – Member States may decide, on a case-by-case basis and if so provided under national law, not to apply this Directive to projects, or parts of projects, having defence as their sole purpose, or to projects having the response to civil emergencies as their sole purpose, if they deem that such application would have an adverse effect on those purposes.

* The underlined text indicates the amendments introduced by Directive 2014/52/EU

2.1.

Article 1(3) of the Directive allows Member States to exclude projects, or parts of projects, from the scope of the Directive and therefore from the environmental impact assessment procedure. This exclusion applies only to projects or parts of projects whose sole purpose is defence or response to civil emergencies. The Member State applying this exclusion must demonstrate that applying the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive would be counter-productive in terms of achieving the purpose in question.

2.2.

Previous versions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (Directive 85/337/EC as codified by Directive 2011/92/EU) already allowed for an exemption to be made in cases of safeguarding defence. Directive 2014/52/EU clarifies that a Member State can apply the exemption only if defence is the sole purpose of the project. This limitation is used to avoid problems of interpretation (projects of mixed character remain within the scope of the Directive (1) and ensure harmonised implementation of the exemption. The term ‘defence’ includes projects related to activities by allied forces on the territory of Member States in accordance with international obligations (see recital 19 of Directive 2014/52/EU).

2.3.

The scope of Article 1(3) was extended to cover response to civil emergencies (2). This amendment was based on experience of implementation, but is also meant to align the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive with Directive 2001/42/EC (3) on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive). As is the case with defence, the Member State concerned can exempt a project from the scope of the Directive under Article 1(3) only if responding to a civil emergency is that project’s sole purpose.

2.4.

It used to be possible for Member States to exempt projects concerning civil emergencies in exceptional cases in accordance with Article 2(4) of Directive 2011/92/EC. Moving this possibility to Article 1(3) means that if the project fulfils the conditions of Article 1(3), Member States do not need to undergo the notification procedure or to meet the objectives of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

2.5.

Nevertheless, established CJEU case law related to the exemptions indicates that the provision should be given a restrictive interpretation. In the Bolzano case C-435/97 the Court made the following statement on Article 1(4) (national defence) of Directive 85/337/EC: ‘Such exclusion introduces an exception to the general rule laid down by the Directive that environmental effects are to be assessed in advance and it must accordingly be interpreted restrictively’.

2.6.

The exemption therefore covers only projects that respond to civil emergencies, not projects introducing measures designed to prevent such emergencies. It would generally be justified only if the emergency that gave rise to the project could not have been foreseen or, if it could have been foreseen, the project could not have been undertaken earlier. For example, an anti-flooding project might only be considered a measure to tackle a potential emergency sufficiently urgent to warrant the exemption being invoked, if it was impossible to undertake it earlier. However, if flooding has occurred in the same place on several occasions and the project is a belated measure taken to stave off a potential future emergency, then the exemption is unlikely to be justified. On the other hand, there could be emergencies, including some natural disasters, which could have been anticipated but not prevented and which give rise to projects (such as urgent/immediate reconstruction works or works to prevent further damage) that might well qualify for the exemption.

2.7.

The Commission has compiled key CJEU judgments in this area for use by the Member States’ public authorities. (4)

3.   Exceptional cases — Article 2(4) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Article 2(4) of Directive 2011/92/EU as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU

Without prejudice to Article 7, Member States may, in exceptional cases, exempt a specific project from the provisions laid down in this Directive, where the application of those provisions would result in adversely affecting the purpose of the project, provided the objectives of this Directive are met.

In that event, the Member States shall:

(a)

consider whether another form of assessment would be appropriate;

(b)

make available to the public concerned the information obtained under other forms of assessment referred to in point (a), the information relating to the decision granting exemption and the reasons for granting it;

(c)

inform the Commission, prior to granting consent, of the reasons justifying the exemption granted, and provide it with the information made available, where applicable, to their own nationals.

The Commission shall immediately forward the documents received to the other Member States.

The Commission shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on the application of this paragraph.

* The underlined text indicates the amendments introduced by Directive 2014/52/EU

Provisions of the Directive

3.1.

Article 2(4) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (former Article 2(3) of Directive 85/337/EC) provides for the possibility for Member States to exempt a specific project from the requirements of the Directive in ‘exceptional cases’ and, in such cases, for the possibility of using an alternative form of assessment. Such exemption would therefore be applied on a case-by-case basis and would not allow for example for an exemption of an entire project category. It sets out the procedural steps to be taken when the exemption is used. It also requires the Commission to report every year to the European Parliament and the Council on how the provision has been applied. Article 2(3) was amended slightly by Directive 97/11/EC by including the words ‘without prejudice to Article 7’ (transboundary provisions) and by substituting ‘where appropriate’ in 2(3)(c) by ‘where applicable’. It was further amended by Directive 2003/35/EC, with effect from 25 June 2005, in order to incorporate the Aarhus Convention provisions on public participation and access to justice. The main effect of this amendment was to remove Member States’ discretion on whether information about other forms of assessment had to be made available to the public. Directive 2014/52/EU added two requirements for the use of Article 2(4): the exemption can be applied ‘where the application of those provisions [provisions of the Directive] would result in adversely affecting the purpose of the project’ and ‘provided the objectives of this Directive are met’.

Transposition

3.2.

Article 2(4) provides Member States with an option to transpose the provision. If this option is used, the wording of the transposing legislation should follow that of the Directive as closely as possible, for reasons of legal certainty, to avoid departing from the conditions of the Directive.

Meaning of exceptional cases

3.3.

In the previous versions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, Article 2(4) does not define ‘exceptional cases’ or provide examples of the kind of cases that might fall within its scope

3.4.

The position of the CJEU is that ‘the terms of a provision of Community law which makes no express reference to the law of the Member States for the purpose of determining its meaning and scope is normally to be given throughout the Community an autonomous and uniform interpretation which must take into account the context of the provision and the purpose of the legislation in question’ (see judgment in case C-201/02 (Delena Wells), paragraph 37).

3.5.

The term ‘exceptional cases’ is interpreted narrowly by the CJEU, which has followed this approach in relation to the exemptions in Article 1(4) (national defence) and Article 1(5) (projects adopted by specific act of national legislation) of Directive 85/337/EC. In Linster (C-287/98, paragraph 49), the Court pronounced that ‘Article 1(5) of the Directive should be interpreted having regard to the objectives of the Directive and to the fact that, since it is a provision limiting the Directive’s field of application, it must be interpreted restrictively.’ It is clear from the wording of the Directive 2014/52/EU that, just because a case can be shown to be exceptional, the Article 2(4) exemption would not be justified. It would be unreasonable to apply the exemption in a case where the factors that make it exceptional do not preclude full compliance with the Directive. In other words, the exemption has to be linked to the impossibility to meet the full requirements of the Directive without compromising the purpose of the project.

3.6.

The CJEU found in its recent ruling in case Doel (C-411/17, paragraphs 97 and 101) that the need to ensure security of supply in electricity could amount to an ‘exceptional case’. According to the CJEU Art. 2(4) requires the Member State to demonstrate that the risk for this security in supply must be ‘reasonably probable’ (5) and the envisaged project must be sufficiently urgent to justify not carrying out the assessment. In addition, the Commission’s experience with the notifications for exemption under Article 2(4) can provide examples of situations that would qualify as ‘exceptional cases’. Between 2014 and 2017, the European Commission has received several notifications that fell under the category of exceptional cases. Although most of them were cases of response to civil emergency, which according to Article 2(4) of the Directive 2014/52/EU do not require a notification procedure, some were of exceptional nature for other reasons than response to civil emergency.

3.7.

The exemption under Article 2(4) regarding the ‘exceptional cases’ was applied between 2014 and 2017 in three cases. In one of these there was a need to secure a supply of gas, in another the project was needed to satisfy a strategic interest in renewable energies, and in the third case the reason for the project was to meet high-level political commitments made by public authorities to build confidence between communities in the context of broader reconciliation negotiations. In all these cases, the urgent need for the project was such that failure to proceed would have been against the public interest and would have threatened political, administrative or economic stability and security. If such a situation occurs, there is some, though limited, scope to apply this exemption, provided that all conditions are met.

3.8.

As indicated above, the circumstances of an exceptional case must be such that compliance with all the Directive’s requirements would be impossible or impracticable and counter-productive in terms of achieving the purpose of the project. For example, a development might need to be approved and completed so quickly that there would be too little time to prepare all the environmental information required under Article 5(1) or to conduct a public consultation before deciding to proceed. Under Article 2(4) of the Directive, it is not possible to derogate from the provisions of Article 7 on transboundary consultations, even in exceptional cases (6).

Confidentiality constraints

3.9.

There might be circumstances where the disclosure of environmental information would not be in the public interest or might even prejudice the interests that the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive is designed to protect. For example where the need to protect a habitat dictates that its location should be kept secret. Article 10 is relevant to such cases. It states that the provisions of the Directive do not affect the obligation on competent authorities to ‘respect the limitations imposed by national regulations and administrative provisions and accepted legal practices with regard to commercial and industrial confidentiality, including intellectual property, and the safeguarding of the public interest.’ There is a correlation here with measures such as those that implement Directive 2003/4/EC (7) on public access to environmental information; Article 4 of which allows Member States to refuse a request for environmental information if disclosure would adversely affect, among other things, ‘the protection of the environment to which such information relates, such as the location of rare species’. It goes on to emphasise that in every particular case the public interest served by disclosure must be weighed against the interest served by refusal. To the extent that environmental information could be withheld by virtue the combined effect of Article 10 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and of Article 4 of Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to information, there would be therefore no need to invoke the Article 2(4) exemption.

Meeting the objectives of the Directive

3.10.

As noted in points 1.4 and 3.1 above, one of the conditions for applying the exemption under Article 2(4) is that Member States should ensure that the objectives of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive are met. Member States are therefore allowed a measure of discretion, in that they can exempt specific projects from the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. That flexibility must not undermine the fundamental objective set out in Article 2(1) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

3.11.

The fundamental objective of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive as set out in Article 2(1) is this: before development consent is given, projects likely to have a significant environmental impact should be made subject to a requirement for development consent and an assessment of their effects. This involves a process comprising a minimum set of requirements that need to be met to achieve that objective. These include drawing up an environmental report, supplying information, conducting consultations, taking the results of the environmental assessment into account, providing information on the decision taken at the end of the assessment, and ensuring access to justice. As there are exceptional cases in which the minimum set of requirements detailed above cannot be met under Article 2(4), Member States need to meet the conditions under Article 2(4)(a) to (c) on considering another form of assessment. They should also keep the public and the Commission informed, to ensure that the fundamental objective under Article 2(1) is respected. As the Court confirmed in Doel (C-411/17, paragraph 99), these [conditions] are not mere formal requirements but rather conditions that seek to ensure respect of the objectives of the EIA Directive as far as possible.

Consideration of other forms of assessment and public involvement

3.12.

A Member State invoking the Article 2(4) exemption must consider whether it is appropriate to undertake another form of assessment. As explained above, the objectives of the Directive are to be observed when judging whether another form of assessment is appropriate. Where another form of assessment is possible and considered to be appropriate, the information obtained must be made available to the public concerned and the public concerned must be informed about the decision granting exemption and the reasons for granting it. Given the similarity with Article 6(3) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, Member States should consider making any environmental information obtained under another assessment available in the same way. However, the application of this provision is without prejudice to the assessment obligations resulting from other Directives (e.g. Article 6(3) and (4) of the Habitats Directive (8) or Article 4(7) of the Water Framework Directive (9)).

3.13.

Assessments could take a number of different forms. For example, where a project comprises several stages, it might be appropriate to carry out a partial environmental impact assessment that covers only some of them. While compliance with Environmental Impact Assessment requirements might be precluded in the first stage by the urgency of the project, it might be entirely feasible for subsequent stages. This would be a proportionate response to the exceptional case, ensuring that the requirements of the Directive were followed as far as possible.

3.14.

A partial environmental impact assessment might be appropriate where for example not all of the elements of Annex IV to the Directive can be included in the environmental impact assessment report because of the exceptional circumstances. Such a case might be where only some of the data required to identify and assess the likely main effects of the project on the environment could be produced at the outset (for example, where surveys to establish the possible presence of protected species would be needed over at least a 1-year period but the proven urgency of the project requires work to be commenced within a shorter period). Another example might be where an urgent and unexpected need to dispose of hazardous waste arises, and the most suitable landfill site out of a large number of potential sites has to be identified quickly, but there is insufficient time to carry out a full assessment of each. While the environmental impact assessment has to be carried as far as possible, in such a case an assessment of the most pressing environmental considerations (such as effects on groundwater) at each site might be appropriate.

Obligation to inform the Commission

3.15.

Article 2(4)(c) requires a Member State that uses the exemption to inform the Commission before granting consent to the project. Reasons justifying the exemption and, where it applies, the information made available to the public must be sent to the Commission.

3.16.

Given that the exemption is often invoked in circumstances that require immediate action, it is recommended that Member States devise internal procedures, possibly including standard forms, to ensure that this notification requirement is not overlooked. The reasons justifying the exemption should specify not only why the situation is exceptional or urgent, but also why compliance with Environmental Impact Assessment Directive requirements is not possible. As this must be sent to the Commission before consent for the project is granted, Member States need to act quickly. It is recommended that, as well as sending a formal letter to the Commission, electronic notification should be used.

3.17.

It is recommended that Member States specify the type of project exempted by referring to the relevant Annex of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

3.18.

Under the Article 2(4)(c) requirement, the Commission has to forward the documents it has received to the other Member States. There is no specific provision for another Member State to comment on them. In practice, the Commission informs the Group of Environmental Impact Assessment/Strategic Environmental Assessment national experts by email and notifies the Permanent Representations of the Member States to the European Union.

4.   Legislative acts — Article 2(5) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive

Article 2(5) of Directive 2011/92/EU as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU

Without prejudice to Article 7, in cases where a project is adopted by a specific act of national legislation, Member States may exempt that project from the provisions relating to public consultation laid down in this Directive, provided the objectives of this Directive are met.

Member States shall inform the Commission of any application of the exemption referred to in the first subparagraph every two years from 16 May 2017.

* New Article introduced by Directive 2014/52/EU

4.1.

This Article allows Member States to exempt projects from the public consultation provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive in case they are adopted by a specific act of national legislation and provided the national legislative procedure meets the objectives of the Directive. The justification for this exemption is that the objectives relating to public consultation are achieved through the legislative process (see recital 24 of Directive 2014/52/EU). This exemption is without prejudice to the obligation of the Member State to provide for a transboundary consultation in accordance with Article 7 where relevant. Member States making use of Article 2(5) shall inform the Commission of any application of the exemption every two years from 16 May 2017.

4.2.

The provision of exclusion for projects adopted by acts of national legislation used to fall under Article 1(4) of Directive 2011/92/EU (Article 1(5) of Directive 85/337/EC respectively). The obligation was of a general nature and allowed such projects to be fully excluded from the scope of the Directive. Under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive as revised by Directive 2014/52/EU, the substance of this exclusion has shifted and now relates only to the procedure of public consultation. As a result, all obligations related to information of the public and consultations of environmental or regional/local authorities (see Article 6(1) of the Directive) have to be complied with.

Defining projects adopted by a national legislative act

4.3.

To correctly apply the exemption in accordance with Article 2(5) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, it is necessary to follow the requirements defining a specific act of national legislation and procedures leading to its adoption, as set out in the existing CJEU judgments concerning this issue. (10)

4.4.

On the degree of precision required of the legislative act, it needs to be clear that it is a specific act adopting the details of the project through the legislative process. The wording of the act in question must also demonstrate that the objectives of the Directive relating to public consultation have been achieved with regard to the project in question.

4.5.

It is important to note that the mere existence of an administrative procedure cannot automatically mean that the project is regarded as a project the details of which are adopted by a specific legislative act in accordance with Article 2(5). A measure should be adopted by a legislative body, e.g. a national or regional parliament, after public parliamentary debate. At the same time its adoption has to fulfil the two following conditions:

1.

The first condition requires the details of the project to be adopted by a specific legislative act. It should be pointed out that the terms ‘project’ and ‘development consent’ are defined in Article 1(2) of Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. A legislative act adopting a project must, if it is to fall within the scope of Article 2(5) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, therefore be specific and display the same characteristics as development consent of that kind. It must in particular grant the developer the right to carry out the project without the need to adopt other measures in order for the developer to be entitled to proceed with the project.

2.

Under the second condition, the objectives of the Directive (11), including that of supplying information, must be achieved through the legislative process. As a result, the national legislature must have sufficient information at its disposal at the time when the project is adopted and this information has to be equivalent to that, which would have been submitted to the competent authority in an ordinary procedure for granting consent for a project, in accordance with Article 5(1) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and its Annex IV.

4.6.

A legislative act that simply ratifies a pre-existing administrative act by referring only to overriding reasons in the general interest, without undergoing a substantive legislative process and meeting the two conditions set out in the previous part, cannot be regarded as a specific legislative act for the purposes of the provision of Article 2(5).

Judicial control for projects adopted by a national legislative act

4.7.

Another important aspect when it comes to the application of exclusions under Article 2(5) is the prerequisite of ensuring that any such legislative act must be challengeable, under the national procedural rules, before a national court or another independent and impartial body established by law as to its substantive or procedural legality, in accordance with Article 11 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

4.8.

If no review procedure was available for such an act, any national court before which an action falling within its competence is brought would have the task of carrying out such a review and, as the case may be, drawing the necessary conclusions by setting aside that legislative act (12).

5.   Summary of the main points

Exemptions to general rules must be interpreted and applied restrictively;

Defence or response to civil emergencies in Article 1(3) have to be the sole purpose of the project in question in order to apply the general exemption from the scope of the Directive;

The exclusion ‘response to civil emergencies’ is unlikely to be justified if it is intended to meet a situation that could be both anticipated and prevented;

In Article 2(4) the term ‘exceptional cases’ is to be interpreted restrictively; to be considered ‘exceptional’, the Member State has to show that the risk involved (e.g. for the security in supply of electricity) is ‘reasonably probable’ and the envisaged project is sufficiently urgent;

An important criterion for justifying the use of Article 2(4) is that full compliance with the Directive is not possible, and not just that the case is exceptional;

When considering the use of Article 2(4), consideration should be given to providing a partial assessment or other form of assessment provided that the objectives of the Directive are met;

Member States need to act quickly (before consent is granted) to provide the Commission with reasons justifying the exemption;

The exemption under Article 2(5) relates only to public consultation requirements;

When applying an exemption, Member States still have to ensure that other obligations under the Directive (e.g. transboundary consultation, provisions relating to access to justice) or requirements of other Directives have to be complied with.


(1)  The CJEU has ruled that Article 1(4) of Directive 85/337/EC is to be interpreted as meaning that an airport which may simultaneously serve both civil and military purposes but whose main use is commercial falls within the scope of the Directive (C-435/97, WWF and Others, paragraphs 65-67).

(2)  The term ‘civil emergency’ was introduced by Directive 2014/52/EU on the basis of experience with implementation. Such experience has shown that compliance with Directive 2011/92/EU could adversely affect the environment, among other things, where projects whose sole purpose is to respond to civil emergencies are involved. The Directive does not define ‘civil emergency’. Certain examples of events that could trigger a civil emergency are given in the Commission staff working document ‘Overview of Natural and Man-Made Disasters and Risks the European Union may face’. They include floods, earthquakes and industrial accidents.

https://ec.europa.eu/echo/sites/echo-site/files/swd_2017_176_overview_of_risks_2.pdf

(3)  Article 3(8) of the SEA Directive includes an exemption for plans and programmes whose sole purpose is to serve in the event of a civil emergency. While the backgrounds to the EIA and SEA Directives are different, there is a connection between them, in that the latter applies to plans and programmes in the core sectors which establish the framework for consent to the future development of projects under the EIA Directive.

(4)  Judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eia/pdf/EIA_rulings_web.pdf, p. 26

(5)  See judgment in case C-411/17, para 101.

(6)  See judgment in case C-411/17, para 101.

(7)  Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1558533359746uri=CELEX:32003L0004

(8)  OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.

(9)  OJL 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.

(10)  In 2017 the Commission services have issued a document summarising the case law of the CJEU that contains, among others, a section dedicated to the concept of projects being adopted by a legislative act in relation to the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 2011/92/EU (Directive 85/337/EC respectively), as this provision was subject to several judgments of the CJEU. The judgments relate to the provisions prior to the 2014/52/EU amendment of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, nevertheless the general principles remain applicable. For section on legislative acts, see p. 33. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eia/pdf/EIA_rulings_web.pdf. In addition, the Court recently confirmed its case-law in Doel (C-411/17, paragraphs 104-111).

(11)  The fundamental objective according to Article 2(1) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive is to ensure that projects likely to have significant impacts on the environment by virtue, inter alia, of their nature, size or location are made subject to a requirement for development consent and an assessment with regard to their environmental effects before the development consent is given.

(12)  C-128/09, Boxus and Others, paragraphs 52-55, 57; C-182/10, Solvay and Others, paragraph 52.


14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/21


Opinion of the Advisory Committee on restrictive practices and dominant positions at its meeting of 5 July 2019 concerning a preliminary draft decision relating to Case AT.40432 — Character Merchandise

Rapporteur: Slovenia

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2019/C 386/06)

1.   

The Advisory Committee (7 Member States) agrees with the Commission that the conduct covered by the draft decision constitutes an infringement of Article 101 TFEU and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement.

2.   

The Advisory Committee (7 Member States) agrees with the Commission’s assessment in the draft decision as regards the duration of the infringement.

3.   

The Advisory Committee (7 Member States) agrees with the Commission that a fine should be imposed on the addressees of the draft decision.

4.   

The Advisory Committee (7 Member States) agrees with the Commission on the final amount of the fine, including its reduction based on paragraph 37 of the 2006 Guidelines on the method of setting fines imposed pursuant to Article 23(2)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003.

5.   

The Advisory Committee (7 Member States) recommends the publication of its Opinion in the Official Journal of the European Union.


14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/22


Final Report of the Hearing Officer (1)

Case AT.40432 — Character merchandise

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2019/C 386/07)

(1)   

The draft decision addressed to Sanrio Company, Ltd., Sanrio GmbH and Mister Men Limited (referred to collectively as the ‘addressees’) finds that the undertaking comprising the addressees (‘Sanrio’) infringed Article 101 TFEU and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement through the implementation and enforcement within the EEA of a series of agreements and/or concerted practices aimed at restricting cross-border sales of licensed merchandise, both offline and online.

(2)   

By decision of 14 June 2017, the Commission initiated proceedings within the meaning of Article 2(1) of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 (2) against Sanrio Company, Ltd. and all legal entities directly or indirectly controlled by it, including Sanrio GmbH. On 29 May 2019, the Commission adopted a further decision to initiate proceedings in accordance with Article 2(1) of that regulation against Mister Men Limited.

(3)   

On […], the addressees submitted a formal offer to cooperate (the ‘Settlement Submission’). The Settlement Submission contained:

an acknowledgement, in clear and unequivocal terms, by the addressees of their joint and several liability for the infringement described in the Settlement Submission, including facts, legal caveats, the addressees’ roles in the infringement and the duration of their participation in the infringement,

an indication of the maximum fine that the addressees would accept in the context of a cooperation procedure,

confirmation that the addressees had been sufficiently informed of the objections the Commission envisaged raising against them and that they had been given sufficient opportunity to make their views known to the Commission,

confirmation that the addressees had been granted sufficient opportunity to access the evidence supporting the potential objections and all other documents in the Commission’s file, and that they did not envisage requesting further access to the file or to be heard again in an oral hearing, unless the Commission did not reflect the Settlement Submission in the statement of objections (the ‘SO’) and the decision, and

the addressees’ agreement to receive the SO and the final decision pursuant to Articles 7 and 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 (3) in English.

(4)   

On 29 May 2019, the Commission adopted the SO, to which all three addressees replied by confirming that the SO reflected the content of the Settlement Submission, reiterating their commitment to follow the cooperation procedure under the conditions of the Settlement Submission and declaring that they did not wish to be heard again by the Commission.

(5)   

The infringements found and the fines imposed in the draft decision correspond to those acknowledged and accepted in the Settlement Submission. The amount of the fines is reduced by 40 % on the ground that Sanrio has effectively and timely cooperated with the Commission by: (i) providing guidance on practices compliant with Union competition law to Sanrio’s European-based employees and changing its template agreement, removing the clauses restricting competition, before formal proceedings were opened; (ii) sending clarification letters to all licensees whose licensing contracts had not yet been modified to reflect the revised template; and (iii) providing additional evidence lengthening the duration of the infringement and acknowledging the existence of a single and continuous infringement for the whole period.

(6)   

In accordance with Article 16 of Decision 2011/695/EU, I have examined whether the draft decision deals only with objections in respect of which Sanrio has been afforded the opportunity of making known its views. I conclude that it does.

(7)   

Overall, I consider that the effective exercise of procedural rights has been respected in this case.

Brussels, 8 July 2019.

Wouter WILS


(1)  Pursuant to Articles 16 and 17 of Decision 2011/695/EU of the President of the European Commission of 13 October 2011 on the function and terms of reference of the hearing officer in certain competition proceedings (OJ L 275, 20.10.2011, p. 29) (‘Decision 2011/695/EU’).

(2)  Commission Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 of 7 April 2004 relating to the conduct of proceedings by the Commission pursuant to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty (OJ L 123, 27.4.2004, p. 18), last amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1348 of 3 August 2015 (OJ L 208, 5.8.2015, p. 3).

(3)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1).


14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/24


Summary of Commission Decision

of 9 July 2019

relating to proceedings under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area

(Case AT.40432 — Character merchandise)

(notified under document number C(2019) 5087 final)

(Only the English text is authentic)

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2019/C 386/08)

On 9 July 2019, the Commission adopted a decision relating to a proceeding under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. In accordance with the provisions of Article 30 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 (1) , the Commission herewith publishes the names of the parties and the main content of the decision, including any penalties imposed, having regard to the legitimate interest of undertakings in the protection of their business secrets.

1.   INTRODUCTION

(1)

The decision is addressed to Sanrio Company, Ltd., as well as to its European subsidiaries Sanrio GmbH and Mister Men Limited (hereinafter ‘Sanrio’), for infringing Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the ‘Treaty’) and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (‘EEA Agreement’).

(2)

Sanrio — which includes Hello Kitty among its proprietary characters — designs, licenses, produces and sells products focusing on the Japanese ‘kawaii’ artistic and cultural style. Since 5 December 2011, Sanrio is also the licensor for the Mister Men characters. Between 1 January 2008 and 21 December 2018, Sanrio participated in a single and continuous infringement that involved the implementation and enforcement within the EEA of a series of practices restricting active, passive and online cross-border sales of licensed merchandise.

2.   CASE DESCRIPTION

2.1.   The products concerned

(3)

The decision concerns Sanrio’s activities as a licensor for its own proprietary characters. Sanrio licenses its characters to other undertakings that produce and distribute various merchandise products including the licensed characters. The decision concerns products of a varied nature, for example stationery, school supplies, gifts and accessories, which are sold primarily, but not exclusively, for children.

(4)

Sanrio typically licenses its proprietary characters either directly or through an agent. Regardless of the system used for the granting of licences, agreements with the licensee also typically include provisions governing the distribution of the products on which the licensed intellectual property right will be applied. Other elements consistently present in Sanrio’s merchandising agreements include:

a)

Territorial scope: Sanrio generally grants all licences in the EEA for one or more specific countries on a non-exclusive basis.

b)

Financial compensation to be paid by the licensee: Sanrio’s licensing agreements provide for licensees to pay Sanrio a certain amount in consideration for the grant of the licence for the intellectual property rights.

(5)

These licensing agreements, and more broadly, the relationships that are built on the basis of those agreements, are the focus of the decision.

2.2.   Procedure

(6)

In September 2016, the Commission conducted unannounced inspections at Sanrio GmbH’s office in Milan, Italy.

(7)

By decision of 14 June 2017, the Commission initiated proceedings in accordance with Article 2(1) of Commission Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 against Sanrio Company, Ltd. and all legal entities directly or indirectly controlled by it, including Sanrio GmbH. The purpose of the initiation of proceedings was to investigate whether Sanrio had in place agreements and/or applied practices preventing or restricting the sale of licensed merchandise in the EEA. On 29 May 2019, the Commission adopted a further decision to initiate proceedings in accordance with Article 2(1) of that Regulation against Mister Men Limited.

(8)

Subsequently, Sanrio submitted a formal offer to cooperate in view of the adoption of a decision pursuant to Article 7 and Article 23 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 (the ‘settlement submission’).

(9)

On 29 May 2019, the Commission adopted a statement of objections addressed to Sanrio. On 11 June 2019, Sanrio submitted its reply to the Statement of Objections.

(10)

The Advisory Committee on Restrictive Practices and Dominant Positions issued a favourable opinion on 5 July 2019.

(11)

The Hearing Officer issued its final report on the case on 8 July 2019.

(12)

The Commission adopted this decision on 9 July 2019.

2.3.   Summary of the infringement

(13)

A series of practices restricting active and passive cross-border sales of licensed merchandise were put in place throughout Sanrio’s merchandising business. These practices concerned both offline and online sales of licensed merchandise products throughout the EEA. The following main types of restrictions are covered by the decision:

a)

Direct measures restricting out-of-territory sales by licensees, such as (i) prohibitions of out-of-territory passive sales; (ii) prohibitions of out-of-territory active sales; (iii) prohibitions of out-of-territory online sales; (iv) obligations to refer orders for out-of-territory sales to Sanrio; (v) use of language requirements to restrict out-of-territory sales.

b)

Indirect measures restricting out-of-territory sales by licensees: a series of measures were also at times implemented as an indirect way to encourage compliance with the out-of-territory restrictions. These measures included the conduct of audits and the non-renewal of contracts.

(14)

Through this set of practices, Sanrio restricted licensees’ ability to sell licensed merchandise cross-border. This single and continuous infringement contributed to restoring the divisions between national markets and might have led to a reduction in the choice available for consumers and to increased prices directly deriving from the lower level of competition. This conduct constitutes, by its very nature, a restriction of competition by object within the meaning of Article 101(1) of the Treaty and Article 53(1) of the EEA Agreement.

(15)

The decision also finds that the conduct does not meet the conditions for exemption provided for in Article 101(3) of the Treaty and Article 53(3) of the EEA Agreement.

2.4.   Addressees and duration

(16)

The decision is addressed to Sanrio Company, Ltd., the ultimate parent company of the Sanrio group of companies, as well as to certain of its subsidiaries involved in the merchandising business: Sanrio GmbH and Mister Men Limited.

(17)

The duration of the single and continuous infringement spans from 1 January 2008 to 21 December 2018, date when Sanrio sent a last set of letters informing its licensees about the inapplicability of any out-of-territory restrictions in its agreements.

2.5.   Remedies and fines

(18)

The decision finds that Sanrio brought the infringement to an end on 21 December 2018 and requires Sanrio to refrain from any agreement or concerted practice which might have the same or a similar object or effect. The Commission also considers that the infringement was committed intentionally, and if not at least negligently, and that a fine needs to be imposed.

2.5.1.   Basic amount of the fine

(19)

For the purposes of calculating the fine, the decision uses the amount of royalties collected by Sanrio during the last full year of the infringement (2017). The value of sales is based on the royalties received by Sanrio from its licensees for sales of licensed merchandise products in the EEA. These royalties (including minimum guarantees) represent Sanrio’s revenues from its licensed merchandise business and are paid to Sanrio in exchange for the use of the intellectual property rights licensed.

(20)

Out-of-territory restrictions, by their very nature, restrict competition within the meaning of Article 101(1) of the Treaty. However, vertical restraints are generally less harmful than horizontal ones. The ‘gravity percentage’ is set at 8 % of Sanrio’s value of sales.

2.5.2.   Aggravating or mitigating circumstances

(21)

There are no aggravating or mitigating circumstances in this case.

2.5.3.   Deterrence

(22)

The Commission does not apply a deterrence multiplier because Sanrio’s worldwide turnover levels do not warrant it.

2.5.4.   Application of the 10 % turnover limit

(23)

The calculated fine does not exceed 10 % of Sanrio’s total worldwide turnover.

2.5.5.   Reduction of the fine in view of cooperation

(24)

In exchange for its cooperation the decision grants a 40 % reduction on the fine pursuant to point 37 of the Guidelines on Fines. Sanrio, in its settlement submission, acknowledged the facts, their legal qualification and liability for the infringement as described. Sanrio showed interest in cooperation at an early stage, diligently cooperated throughout the process and provided additional evidence that allowed to extend the duration of the infringement.

3.   CONCLUSION

(25)

Sanrio infringed Article 101(1) of the Treaty and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement by participating in a single and continuous infringement regarding licensed merchandise. The infringement covered the whole of the European Economic Area, and consisted in the implementation and enforcement of a series of agreements and practices aimed at restricting cross-border sales of licensed merchandise, both offline and online.

(26)

The final amount of the fine to be imposed on Sanrio pursuant to Article 23(2)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 should be EUR 6 222 000.

(27)

Sanrio Company, Ltd. and Sanrio GmbH should be held jointly and severally liable for the total amount of this fine, while Mister Men Limited should only be held jointly and severally liable for EUR 3 993 000, proportionally reflecting the part of the relevant period starting on 5 December 2011, date on which it was acquired by Sanrio Company, Ltd.

(1)  OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 411/2004 (OJ L 68, 6.3.2004, p. 1).


V Announcements

PROCEDURES RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMPETITION POLICY

European Commission

14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/28


Prior notification of a concentration

(Case M.9567 — PGGM/Macquarie/Genesee &Wyoming Australia)

Candidate case for simplified procedure

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2019/C 386/09)

1.   

On 6 November 2019, the Commission received notification of a proposed concentration pursuant to Article 4 of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (1).

This notification concerns the following undertakings:

PGGM Infrastructure Fund (‘PGGM’, The Netherlands) belonging to the PGGM group,

Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Limited, (‘MCHPL’, Australia) belonging to the Macquarie group (‘Macquarie’, Australia),

Genesee &Wyoming Australia Holdings LP (‘GWA’, Australia).

PGGM and Macquarie acquire within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Merger Regulation joint control of the whole of GWA.

The concentration is accomplished by way of purchase of shares.

2.   

The business activities of the undertakings concerned are:

for PGGM: a global provider of pension fund services, such as pension fund management, policy advice and management support,

for MCHPL: holding and operating company, part of Macquarie Group, a global financial group and a provider of investment services in the infrastructure, real estate, agriculture and energy markets for institutional investors,

for GWA: a freight rail operator, active in the provision and operation of freight rail transport services in Australia.

3.   

On preliminary examination, the Commission finds that the notified transaction could fall within the scope of the Merger Regulation. However, the final decision on this point is reserved.

Pursuant to the Commission Notice on a simplified procedure for treatment of certain concentrations under the Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (2) it should be noted that this case is a candidate for treatment under the procedure set out in the Notice.

4.   

The Commission invites interested third parties to submit their possible observations on the proposed operation to the Commission.

Observations must reach the Commission not later than 10 days following the date of this publication. The following reference should always be specified:

M.9567 — PGGM/Macquarie/Genesee &Wyoming Australia

Observations can be sent to the Commission by email, by fax, or by post. Please use the contact details below:

Email: COMP-MERGER-REGISTRY@ec.europa.eu

Fax +32 22964301

Postal address:

European Commission

Directorate-General for Competition

Merger Registry

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

BELGIQUE/BELGIË


(1)  OJ L 24, 29.1.2004, p. 1 (the ‘Merger Regulation’).

(2)  OJ C 366, 14.12.2013, p. 5.


14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/30


Prior notification of a concentration

(Case M.9580 — Permira/Smith & Wiliamson)

Candidate case for simplified procedure

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2019/C 386/10)

1.   

On 8 November 2019, the Commission received notification of a proposed concentration pursuant to Article 4 of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (1).

This notification concerns the following undertakings:

Tilney Group Limited (‘Tilney’, UK), which is ultimately controlled by Permira Holdings Limited (‘Permira’, Guernsey),

Smith & Williamson Holdings Limited (‘Smith & Williamson’, United Kingdom).

Tilney acquires within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Merger Regulation control of the whole of Smith & Williamson.

The concentration is accomplished by way of purchase of shares.

2.   

The business activities of the undertakings concerned are:

Permira is a private equity business engaged in the provision of investment management services to a number of investment funds. Permira controls a number of portfolio companies which are active in a variety of sectors across a range of jurisdictions,

Tilney is an independent wealth management firm, with offices throughout the UK. It is primarily active in providing financial planning, investment management, and advisory services to private clients,

Smith & Williamson is an independent financial and professional services firm, with offices throughout the UK and Ireland. Smith & Williamson offers, professional, financial and investment management services to individuals and businesses.

3.   

On preliminary examination, the Commission finds that the notified transaction could fall within the scope of the Merger Regulation. However, the final decision on this point is reserved.

Pursuant to the Commission Notice on a simplified procedure for treatment of certain concentrations under the Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (2) it should be noted that this case is a candidate for treatment under the procedure set out in the Notice.

4.   

The Commission invites interested third parties to submit their possible observations on the proposed operation to the Commission.

Observations must reach the Commission not later than 10 days following the date of this publication. The following reference should always be specified:

M.9580 — Permira/Smith & Wiliamson

Observations can be sent to the Commission by email, by fax, or by post. Please use the contact details below:

Email: COMP-MERGER-REGISTRY@ec.europa.eu

Fax+32 22964301

Postal address:

European Commission

Directorate-General for Competition

Merger Registry

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

BELGIQUE/BELGIË


(1)  OJ L 24, 29.1.2004, p. 1 (the ‘Merger Regulation’).

(2)  OJ C 366, 14.12.2013, p. 5.


14.11.2019   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 386/32


Prior notification of a concentration

(Case M.9611 — Pavilion Energy/Iberdrola Group (European LNG Asset Portfolio))

Candidate case for simplified procedure

(Text with EEA relevance)

(2019/C 386/11)

1.   

On 5 November 2019, the Commission received notification of a proposed concentration pursuant to Article 4 of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (1).

This notification concerns the following undertakings:

Pavilion Energy Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), controlled by Temasek Holdings Private Limited (Singapore),

European LNG Asset Portfolio (Spain), belonging to the Iberdrola group (‘Iberdrola’, Spain).

Pavilion Energy acquires within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Merger Regulation control of part(s) of Iberdrola. The concentration is accomplished by way of purchase of assets.

2.   

The business activities of the undertakings concerned are:

Pavilion Energy is a Singapore-based integrated global LNG player active in the LNG trading as well as storage, processing and shipping. It is wholly-owned by Temasek, an investment company,

European LNG Asset Portfolio comprises a range of LNG assets including a portfolio of long-term LNG sale and procurement contracts, as well as various ancillary contracts over regasification capacity in the UK and Spain, pipeline capacity at the Spanish-French border as well as the time-charter of a newly built MEGI LNG vessel.

3.   

On preliminary examination, the Commission finds that the notified transaction could fall within the scope of the Merger Regulation. However, the final decision on this point is reserved.

Pursuant to the Commission Notice on a simplified procedure for treatment of certain concentrations under the Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (2) it should be noted that this case is a candidate for treatment under the procedure set out in the Notice.

4.   

The Commission invites interested third parties to submit their possible observations on the proposed operation to the Commission.

Observations must reach the Commission not later than 10 days following the date of this publication. The following reference should always be specified:

M.9611 — Pavilion Energy/Iberdrola Group (European LNG Asset Portfolio)

Observations can be sent to the Commission by email, by fax, or by post. Please use the contact details below:

Email: COMP-MERGER-REGISTRY@ec.europa.eu

Fax +32 22964301

Postal address:

European Commission

Directorate-General for Competition

Merger Registry

1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

BELGIQUE/BELGIË


(1)  OJ L 24, 29.1.2004, p. 1 (the ‘Merger Regulation’).

(2)  OJ C 366, 14.12.2013, p. 5.


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