When a large number of experts from different organisations work together – as is the case with the unpaid work done by experts working on FGSV committees – there is the risk of agreements that restrict competition in accordance with § 1 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (Competition Act, GWB) and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This primarily includes agreements between competitors that relate to agreements on prices, quotas, customers, or territories and have as their object the noticeable restraint of competition. In addition, the ban on cartels applies in cases where the above-mentioned practices may affect trade between Member States. Thereafter, all national and international agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction, or distortion of competition are prohibited (§ 1 of the German Act against Restraints of Competition (Competition Act, GWB) and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).
The objective of the FGSV's anti-trust law compliance rules is, therefore, to raise awareness of this issue among members of FGSV committees and to provide them with sufficient information with a view to preventing any behaviour on the part of these experts within the context of meetings and the drafting of technical standards and specifications and knowledge documents that could be deemed questionable from an anti-trust point of view. Information or agreements on prices, price strategies, margins/profits, discounts, quotas, customers, sales territories, and strategic orientation/investment are not subjects for FGSV meetings and events.
The FGSV Board of Directors has therefore decided that the following rules must be observed when carrying out all unpaid work within the FGSV:
- All people from a variety of organisations in the road and transportation sector in accordance with Article 3(1) of the FGSV's Articles of Association (authorities, corporate bodies, associations, companies, engineering companies, laboratories, and individuals) who are involved in the work of the FGSV undertake to promote the objectives of unsalaried work by legal and ethical means while observing legal provisions and the FGSV's anti-trust law compliance rules. No form of bribery and corruption will be tolerated.
- The FGSV Head Office shall ensure that all FGSV committee chairpersons are familiar with the FGSV's anti-trust law compliance rules and shall promote observation of these rules.
- There shall be no prior agreements regarding the drafting of technical standards and specifications and knowledge documents.
- FGSV committee chairpersons and the FGSV Head Office shall ensure that all agendas included in invitations to FGSV committee meetings do not contain any aspects that that may be questionable from an anti-trust point of view. Wording must be clear and explicit; care must be taken to ensue that agenda items that are neutral from an anti-trust point of view (e.g. 'Other business') do not appear to be in contravention of the law. If the purpose of this agenda item is to set dates, then the item should be named accordingly ('dates'). Terms such as 'prices', 'discounts', 'agree', etc. are critical.
- Once a year, FGSV committee chairpersons shall remind committee members of the FGSV's anti-trust law compliance rules and their obligation to observe them and that the discussion of sector-specific competition-related issues such as prices and discounts or the discussion of other sensitive company data is prohibited during committee meetings. Committee members confirm their awareness of these issues and their willingness to observe the above-mentioned rules by signing the attendance list at meetings. Any deviations from the agenda and any behaviour that that may be questionable from an anti-trust point of view must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. In such cases, attention must be drawn to said behaviour and, if necessary, the chair or another member of the committee must interrupt or postpone the meeting. In such instances, the FGSV Head Office must be informed immediately.
- In the context of the FGSV's anti-trust law compliance rules, reference is hereby made to Articles 3(1) and 3(4) of the FGSV's articles of association.
Cologne, 18 May 2017
Elfriede Sauerwein-Braksiek, chairwoman of the FGSV