On approval of procedure for preparation, submission and examination of applications for the confirmation that the agreement qualifies for a block exemption and applications for an individual exemption
The Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania, in accordance with item 7 of par. 1 of Art. 19 of the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania, No. VIII-1099 (Official Gazette, 1999, No. 30-856), having regard to provisions of the European Community competition law and policy, and having generalized the practice of implementation of the Law on Competition, resolves:
To approve the procedure for preparation, submission and examination of applications for the confirmation that the agreement qualifies for a block exemption, and applications for an individual exemption (attached).
Resolution No. 157 of December 21, 2000
Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania
The procedure for preparation, submission and examination of applications for the confirmation that the agreement qualifies for a block exemption and applications for an individual exemption
CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. The procedure for preparation, submission and examination of applications for the confirmation that the agreement qualifies for a block exemption pursuant to par. 3 of Article 7 of the Law on Competition, and applications for an individual exemption (further – the applications) pursuant to par. 1 of Art. 8 of the Law on Competition (further – the Procedure), has been developed with a view to regulating the preparation of applications and submission thereof to the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania (further – the Competition Council).
2. This Procedure shall also apply to applications for extension of the effective period of an individual exemption.
3. All interested parties to an intended agreement are entitled in advance to request the Competition Council to provide explanations concerning application of this Procedure.
4. For the purpose of this Resolution concept of agreements, economic activity, undertakings, group of associated undertakings, goods, relevant markets and other concepts shall be understood as they are defined in the Law on Competition.
5. In applying this Procedure and explaining the legal norms of this Procedure the Competition Council shall follow the practice of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice, and comments concerning conditions for granting a block or an individual exemption.
CHAPTER II. IDENTITY OF PERSONS SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION
6. In accordance with par. 3 of Art. 7 and par. 1 of Art. 8 of the Law on Competition, an application may be submitted by any undertaking or an association of undertakings being a party to an agreement or concerted practices, or any association of undertakings adopting decisions or engaged in activities subject to prohibitions provided by Art. 5 of the Law on Competition.
7. Generally all undertakings parties to an agreement shall submit a joint application.
8. Where the application is signed by representatives of undertakings or natural persons, the representatives shall produce a written proof that they are authorized to act.
9. Where a joint application is submitted, a representative authorized to transmit and receive documents on behalf of all the applicants or notifying parties shall submit the application.
CHAPTER III. SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION
10. The application shall be submitted in the standard Form for the application (further – the SFA) for the confirmation that an agreement qualifies for a block exemption, or an application for an individual exemption as shown in the Annex 1 to this Procedure. A joint application shall be submitted in a single Form.
11. The application and supporting documents shall be submitted to the Competition Council by hand delivery or by registered post.
12. Supporting documents annexed to the application shall be either original or certified copies of the original.
13. Supporting documents shall be submitted in their original language. In the event the documents are in other than Lithuanian language, an official certified copy thereof shall be annexed. Documents supporting an application submitted by a foreign undertaking (annual accounts, market survey reports, etc.) may be submitted in English.
14. The application and the supporting documents shall contain all information required by the SFA. The information must be complete and correct. The undertakings shall also supply the information beyond that specified in the SFA, if such information is needed for the conclusion whether the agreement qualifies for the block exemption, as defined in relevant legal acts on block exemption.
15. Material changes of information contained in the application of which the applicant was not aware of at the time of submission of the application shall be immediately notified to the Competition Council.
16. The Competition Council may decide to replace the requirement to submit complete information and supporting documents required by the SFA where following preliminary consultations regarding an intended application the Competition Council decides that such information is not indispensable for the assessment of the application. In such a case the contents and scope of the mandatory information and supporting documents shall be determined in a consultation protocol, if so requested by the applicant.
17. In accordance with par. 1 of Art. 22 undertakings are entitled to confidentiality of their business secrets. Where information submitted to the Competition Council contains business secrets, each page of such material shall be clearly marked "Business secret". Such information shall not be disclosed or divulged to other persons, except in cases provided by the law, or upon the receipt of a written consent of the person concerned to fully or partially disclose the information constituting his business secret. Where appropriate, the Competition Council may request to submit a document containing no business secrets.
Unless indicated differently, all requested information shall concern the business year proceeding the year on which the agreement is concluded.
CHAPTER IV. TIME LIMITS FOR SUBMISSION AND EFFECTIVE
DATE OF APPLICATIONS
18. The applications shall be deemed submitted on the date they are registered by the Competition Council.
19. In the event the application fails to meet the relevant requirements or the Competition Council finds that the information contained in the application including the supporting documents is incomplete, it shall without delay inform the undertaking(s) thereof. In such cases the application shall be considered submitted on the date the Competition Council receives the application meeting all the relevant requirements.
In case the undertaking decides to amend or supplement the submitted application, the application shall be deemed submitted on the date the Competition Council receives additional information meeting the requirements.
CHAPTER V. EXAMINATION OF THE APPLICATION
20. The Competition Council may announce publicly about the application for an individual exemption.
21. In examining the application the Competition Council may request from the undertakings, public authorities and municipal institutions concerned to submit information, verbal or written comments needed for the purpose of taking a decision on an exemption.
22. The Competition Council shall examine the application as to its compliance to the conditions of block exemption within one month from the date of its registration at the Competition Council. Where, at the expiry of one month the Competition Council has not produced a negative response, the application shall be deemed to be approved.
23. Where within one month from registration of the application the Competition Council confirms that the application fails to qualify for a block exemption, a matter concerning granting of an individual exemption may be considered at the request of the applicant. In such a case the applicant does not need to repeatedly apply to the Competition Council, or provide any additional application. The Competition Council shall take a decision concerning granting of an individual exemption within three months from the date of registration of the application.
24. The Competition Council shall take a decision on granting an individual exemption or a refusal to grant an individual exemption no later than within three months from the date of registration of the application. Where within the period stipulated the Competition Council fails to pass a decision on refusal to grant an individual exemption, the individual exemption shall be deemed to have been granted upon conditions stipulated in the application of the undertaking and the agreement attached thereto.
25. In the decision on granting an individual exemption the Competition Council shall indicate the date from which the individual exemption becomes effective and the duration of the exemption. In individual cases the decision may stipulate separate conditions and obligations attached to it.
26. The decision by the Competition Council on refusal to grant an individual exemption shall indicate the main reasons for not granting the exemption in question.
27. The duly grounded decision by the Competition Council shall be posted to the undertaking, which submitted the application or its representative, by registered post.