A couple of weeks after publishing the drafts of block exemptions for technology transfer and transport agreements, the Serbian Competition Commission has now published a draft block exemption for vertical agreements in the motor vehicle sector.

The draft block exemption is supposed to be supplementary to the general block exemption for vertical agreements, adopted back in 2010. It is largely based on the corresponding EU Commission Regulation 461/2010, though it also contains some elements from the out-of-force EU Commission Regulation 1400/2002.

Following the Serbian Commission’s announcement of four new block exemptions coming up this year, with the draft motor vehicle block exemption it is 3 out of 4 – the only one remaining is the block exemption for agreements in the insurance sector. Judging on the Commission’s recent activity, we can expect that one soon as well.

Not disputing the need for having the block exemption system completed, the timing for the new block exemptions may not be the best one. As announced by the Commission itself, Serbia is soon to get a new Competition Act. Once the new act is adopted, all of the block exemptions are expected to be re-adopted. For that reason, maybe waiting with the adoption of the remaining block exemptions could have been put on hold until the new Competition Act is rolled out as well.

Also, apart from the announcement of a new Competition Act, another consideration is the constitutional challenge the Competition Act is facing. The outcome of the challenge may significantly influence how the Serbian block exemption system will look like and the current block exemption set-up may need to be re-arranged.

In any event, the draft is open for comments until October 17 and any interested party may give its observation to the Commission by that time. The same deadline is now also valid for comments on the draft block exemptions for technology transfer and transport agreements.