Compliance Regulations and Guidelines

The goal of both EU and national competition policy is to protect and develop effective competition in the market. While competition law is not intended to restrain legitimate business activity, strict rules apply which prohibit anti-competitive behavior and activities. These rules are enforced by a range of penalties, including significant fines and personal sanctions.

The competition rules also apply to formal or informal gatherings organized by industry associations, such as the events organized by EPL. In view of the fact that industry associations organize meetings between actual and potential competitors, the competition rules need to be followed strictly.

The following guidelines provide general guidance so as to avoid the risk that competition law may be breached during EPL events. These rules apply to all events organized by EPL, including physical meetings, social events, webinars, online meetings, etc.


  • Members cannot conclude anticompetitive agreements with competitors
    This includes agreements on prices (including price setting, discounts, timing of price increases, margins, etc.), the allocation of markets and/or customers, volumes to be placed on the market, or the handling of public or private tenders. Under competition law, an ‘agreement’ is a broad concept. It covers both formal and informal agreements, including gentlemen’s agreements, tacit arrangements or mutual understandings.
  • Members cannot exchange recent or forward-looking commercially sensitive information with competitors
    Commercially sensitive (or strategic) information is information that is not publicly available and that reduces the strategic uncertainty on the market.Commercially sensitive information is a broad notion. Examples of such information are prices, price changes, discounts, production or distribution costs, production capacity, sources of supply, strategic plans, information on bids and customer information.

    Commercially sensitive information can only be exchanged if it is:

    • truly public information; or
    • historic information (i.e. at least older than one year); or
    • aggregated and anonymized (so that no data of individual competitors can be distilled from the information).


The EPL committee, each member and its representative(s) need to ensure strict compliance with the following safeguards when conducting any type of EPL meeting:

  1. Pre-agreed agenda and documentation
    • An agenda is prepared and circulated in advance of each meeting to all relevant members for review.
    • A competition law compliance statement is included as the first item on the agenda. − Any documentation that will be presented or distributed during the meeting is circulated in advance of the meeting to all relevant members for review.
  2. During the meeting 
    • A secretary representative is present/secretary is appointed at each meeting to monitor  compliance with the guidelines and having the task to intervene whenever he/she observes a risk of non-compliance.
    • Only items on the agenda are discussed during the meeting.
    • Competition counsel should be consulted on all questions related to compliance with  competition law.
  3. Incidents
    • Any discussion or meeting activity which entails the possible risk of violating the guidelines should immediately be stopped.
    • The discussion or activity can only continue after appropriate legal checks by competition counsel.
    • In case the discussion or meeting continues without the appropriate legal checks, members should distance themselves publicly and leave the meeting.
    • Any incident and the subsequent actions undertaken in reaction thereto should be included in the minutes.
  4. Meeting minutes
    • Meeting minutes are taken of every meeting, accurately recording the discussions (including incidents, if any).
    • The minutes are circulated to all members after the meeting.
    • The members are invited to comment on the minutes within a given period, after which the minutes will be deemed accepted by all members.