The Competition Act 1998 (Groceries) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) Order 2020

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 2020/369

2020 No. 369

Competition

The Competition Act 1998 (Groceries) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) Order 2020

Made 27th March 2020

Laid before Parliament 27th March 2020

Coming into force in accordance with article 1

The Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 71(3) of and paragraph 7(1), (2) and (3) of Schedule 3 to the Competition Act 19981, makes the following Order.

The Secretary of State is satisfied that there are exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy why the prohibition contained in Chapter I of the Competition Act 1998 ought not to apply to, or ought to be deemed never to have applied in relation to, agreements of the descriptions specified in this Order.

S-1 Citation and commencement

Citation and commencement

1. This Order may be cited as the Competition Act 1998 (Groceries) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) Order 2020 and comes into force on the day after the day on which it is laid before Parliament.

S-2 Interpretation

Interpretation

2. In this Order—

“consumer” means an individual who is, or seeks to be, supplied with groceries by a retailer;

“coronavirus” means severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2);

“critical worker” means a worker in any part of the United Kingdom in a critical sector listed in the document titled “Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges, local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision” published by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Education on 19th March 20202;

“groceries-chain supplier” means a retailer or a supplier;

“groceries” means food (other than that sold for consumption in a store), pharmaceuticals (other than prescription-only medicines), pet food, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic, other than that sold for consumption in a store), cleaning products, toiletries and household goods, but excludes petrol, clothing, DIY products, financial services, newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, CDs, DVDs, videos and audio tapes, toys, plants, flowers, perfumes, cosmetics, electrical appliances, kitchen hardware, gardening equipment, books, tobacco and tobacco products;

“logistics service provider” means any person carrying on (or actively seeking to carry on) a business providing a service to a groceries-chain supplier in relation to delivery, storage or maintenance;

“qualifying activities” has the meaning given in article 3 for groceries-chain suppliers and has the meaning given in article 4 for logistics service providers;

“prescription-only medicine” means any prescription only medicine within the meaning of regulation 5(3) of the Human Medicines Regulations 20123;

“retailer” means any person carrying on (or actively seeking to carry on) a business in any part of the United Kingdom for the supply of groceries to consumers;

“supplier” means any person carrying on (or actively seeking to carry on) a business in the supply of groceries either directly or indirectly to any retailer for resale in any part of the United Kingdom, and includes any such person established anywhere in the world;

“the groceries supply disruption period” means the period commencing on 1st March 2020 and ending on the date specified in the notice published by the Secretary of State in accordance with article 7(1) as the date on which the groceries supply disruption period is to end.

S-3 Qualifying activities by groceries-chain suppliers

Qualifying activities by groceries-chain suppliers

3.—(1) For the purposes of this Order a qualifying activity by a groceries-chain supplier is any activity specified in paragraph (2) insofar as it—

(a)

(a) is for the purposes referred to in article 5(2)(a); and

(b)

(b) does not involve the sharing between groceries-chain suppliers of any information regarding costs or pricing.

(2) The activities specified in this paragraph are—

(a)

(a) coordination on limiting purchases by consumers of particular groceries during the groceries supply disruption period;

(b)

(b) sharing of labour or facilities or coordination of the deployment of labour from other industries into the groceries-chain supplier workforce during the groceries supply disruption period;

(c)

(c) coordination on the range of groceries to be or being supplied by suppliers or retailers during the groceries supply disruption period, which may include simplifying the supply chain and product specifications;

(d)

(d) sharing information on the day to day stock position and shortages of groceries within any part of the United Kingdom during the groceries supply disruption period;

(e)

(e) sharing information on services provided by logistics service providers during the groceries supply disruption period;

(f)

(f) coordination on assistance for particular groups of consumers, including critical workers, the most clinically vulnerable and socially isolated groups, such as prioritising deliveries or opening stores at specific times to these groups or otherwise providing assistance to them during the groceries supply disruption period;

(g)

(g) coordination as regards the temporary closure of stores or opening hours of stores during the groceries supply disruption period; and

(h)

(h) coordination on supplying groceries to consumers in areas of the United Kingdom that are particularly vulnerable to shortages of groceries during the groceries supply disruption period.

S-4 Qualifying activities by logistics service providers

Qualifying...

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