COMPETITION COUNCIL SEEKS TO EVALUATE THE ORDER OF SETTING AND DISTRIBUTING QUOTAS FOR FISHING IN THE BALTIC SEA
On December 17, the Competition Council (the Council) opened an investigation on the Rules of setting and distributing quotas for fishing in the Baltic Sea (the Rules) adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture, having suspected, that the aforementioned rules do not comply with the requirements of Article 4 of the Law on Competition.
During the investigation the Council will evaluate whether the order of setting and distributing quotas for fishing established by the Rules regulating the setting and distribution of quotas with regard to the historic catch rates only, do not harm the interests of undertakings engaged in fishing for a shorter period of time or the interests of those willing to start such activity.
This year the Council has already carried out a similar investigation on the rules of setting and distributing inland waters fishing quotas, confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture. It was suspected that these rules created favourable competition conditions for some undertakings that could obtain quotas without having to participate in the competitive procedure as opposed to those that had to compete. The conclusions of the investigation were submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture. After the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania had confirmed the amendments to the Law on Fishing, the function of regulating setting and distributing fishing quotas was passed on to the Ministry of Environment and, therefore, the rules adopted by the Ministry of Agriculture were abolished. Having taken into consideration the Council’s opinion, the Ministry of Environment prepared and confirmed a new Description of the order of setting and distributing inland waters fishing quotas.
By investigating the actions undertaken by public administration bodies the Council aims to ensure that the latter would create sufficient conditions for competition and act in favour of fair competition. Moreover, the Council‘s experts have prepared Guidelines for Assessing Impact of Draft Decisions to Competition (the Guidelines) explaining how not to distort competition and ensure equal treatment of all market participants in various economic fields when drafting legal acts.
Please note that the opening of an investigation indicates that there are grounds for a suspicion of an infringement; however, it does not mean that the infringement does exist.
(1) When carrying out the assigned tasks related to the regulation of economic activity within the Republic of Lithuania, public administration bodies must ensure freedom of fair competition. (Law on Competition, Article 4 (1))
(2) Public administration bodies are prohibited from adopting legal acts or other decisions which grant privileges to or discriminate against any individual undertakings or their groups and which give rise to or may give rise to differences in the conditions of competition for undertakings competing in the relevant market, except where the difference in the conditions of competition cannot be avoided when the requirements of the laws of the Republic of Lithuania are complied with. (Law on Competition, Article 4(2)).Competition Council Spokesperson