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Friday, 22 July 2011

Code of Conduct latest

The latest edition of Motor Law reports on developments on the much-vaunted Code of Conduct, intended to supplement the block exemption and re-establish a degree of dealer protection. The last word when the newsletter went to print was that the Commission had pressed ACEA to reach agreement with CECRA, with the threat that the Commission would impose something if the parties were unable to agree by November. Although ACEA, which has proposed a limited Code of Conduct, finds itself portrayed as the "baddie" (the inverted commas are to indicate that what's right and what's wrong in this situation depends almost entirely on where you are standing) it is important to remember that CECRA's original stance was to oppose a code and stick out instead for protective measures in the new block exemption - which of course were not forthcoming.

We now understand that ACEA has announced that it will not participate in further discussions about the content of a Code, which might well mean that the manufacturers will unilaterally promulgate their own Code without the additional protection sought by CECRA. Or maybe it's just another move in the perpetual game of horsetrading that goes on in Brussels ...

We also hear that the Q&A document on the new block exemption, promised by the Commission for July, will now not appear before September. Given the imminence of the summer holidays, that is no great surprise - perhaps any promise by the Commission that involves the delivery of something in July should instantly be discounted.

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