Block Exemption for Security of Supply of Essential Goods in place

19 Jul 2021

Regulations designed to exempt firms providing essential goods from Sections 4 and 5 of the Competition Act have been drawn up.

The trade, industry and competition department published the Block Exemption for the Security of Supply of Essential Goods Regulations in Government Gazette 44854.

Sections 4 and 5 deal with restrictive horizontal and vertical practices prohibited.

The Regulations are in response to disruptions to the supply chains of essential goods within the country.

The Regulations aim to prevent critical shortages of essential goods within the country and promote the equitable distribution of scarce essential goods across the country to consumers, especially poorer households and customers, including small businesses.

Agreements or practices exempted include exempted communication and exempted coordination.

The Regulations do not exempt price-fixing and collusive tendering in respect of essential goods and inputs used in the production of essential goods.

They also do not authorise any discussion of the pricing of essential goods and the pricing of inputs used in the production of essential goods.

Essential goods suppliers must keep minutes of meetings held and written records of agreements or practices and submit them to the Competition Commission within a reasonable time.

The Regulations came into effect on the date of publication and remain in force until 15 August 2021 unless extended or withdrawn.

In Gazette 44855, the department published the final notice on the prohibition on the use of certain words and emblems associated with the 2021 British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour of South Africa.

Notice 617 was published in terms of the Merchandise Marks Act.

The department points out that owners of identical or similar marks already in use will not be affected by the prohibition and the prohibition is absolute in nature.

The prohibition will be in place until 31 August 2021.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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