The Block Exemption Regulation concerns agreements regarding the sale of automotive products, as well as the provision of after-sales services.
Motor vehicle manufacturers sell their vehicles and parts through a network of authorised distributors and repairers. This network also provides a complete package of service, maintenance and repair services.
Like any other commercial contract, the agreements that manufacturers conclude with their networks of authorised distributors and repairers must comply with EU competition rules. Block Exemption Regulation (BER) 330/ 2010 (published in the EU Official Journal L 102 of 23 April 2010) governs agreements regarding the sale of motor vehicles while BER 461/2010 (published in the EU Official Journal L 129 of 28 May 2010) applies to agreements regarding the provision of repair and maintenance services and the sale of spare parts.
Unlike the legislation that applied before 2010, these new Regulations do not contain any rules regarding contractual issues such as minimum notice periods for termination and dispute resolution. However, the member companies of ACEA have adopted a code of good practice in which they commit to maintaining provisions regarding these matters in their agreements with their authorised distributors and repairers. These include a minimum notice period of two years for regular termination of agreements of indefinite duration and the possible recourse to an arbitrator or independent expert for the resolution of contractual disputes.