The Future of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation - or How Special is the Insurance Sector?
Dr. Jeannine Bartmann M.B.L.-HSG, Group Legal Services, Allianz SE, Germany
Subject to certain conditions, the current Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (BER) exempts important forms of cooperation in the insurance industry from the application of the prohibition of anti-competitive practices in Article 81 EC Treaty, namely:
• joint calculations, tables and studies,
• standard policy conditions (SPC),
• pools and
• security devices.
The BER will expire by default on 31 March 2010. Under the Implementing Regulation , the European Commission is required six years after its entry into force, to submit a report to the European Parliament and Council on the functioning of the BER together with any proposals for amendment in the light of experience.
The Commission started its review of the functioning of the BER in April 2008, launching a consultation. In addition to the consultation, the Commission sent questionnaires to certain stakeholders, public authorities and consumer organizations. Also, the national competition authorities have been closely involved in the review.
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