Competition in transport by rail, road and inland waterway

Competition in transport by rail, road and inland waterway

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Competition in transport by rail, road and inland waterway


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in transport

Competition in transport by rail, road and inland waterway

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 169/2009 of 26 February 2009 applying rules of competition to transport by rail, road and inland waterway.


This regulation repeals Regulation (EEC) No 1017/68 with the exception of Article 13(3) of that regulation, which continues to apply to decisions adopted under Article 5 of Regulation (EEC) No 1017/68 before 1 May 2004 until the date of expiration of those decisions.

As provided for by Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex-Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC)), anticompetitive agreements and concerted practices, as well abuses of dominance are prohibited. This regulation applies to agreements, decisions and concerted practices which have as their object or effect:

  • the fixing of transport rates and conditions;
  • the limitation or control of the supply of transport;
  • the sharing of transport markets;
  • the application of technical improvements or technical cooperation;
  • the joint financing or acquisition of transport equipment or supplies where such operations are directly related to the provision of transport services and are necessary for the joint operation of services by a grouping of road or inland waterway transport firms.

Exception for technical agreements

The prohibition provided for in Article 101(1) TFEU does not apply to agreements, decisions or concerted practices which have the object and effect of applying technical improvements or achieving technical cooperation by means of:

  • the standardisation of equipment, transport supplies, vehicles or fixed installations;
  • the exchange or pooling, for the purpose of operating transport services, of staff, equipment, vehicles or fixed installations;
  • the organisation and execution of successive, complementary, substitute or combined transport operations, and the fixing and application of inclusive rates and conditions for such operations, including special competitive rates;
  • the use, for journeys by a single mode of transport, of the routes which are most rational from the operational point of view;
  • the coordination of transport timetables for connecting routes;
  • the grouping of single consignments;
  • the establishment of uniform rules as to the structure of tariffs and their conditions of application, provided such rules do not lay down transport rates and conditions.

Exemption for groups of small and medium-sized undertakings

This regulation also provides an exemption for groups of small and medium-sized undertakings, where the individual capacity of each firm belonging to a grouping may not exceed 1 000 tonnes for road transport or 50 000 tonnes for inland waterway transport (the total carrying capacity of any grouping must not exceed 10 000 tonnes for road transport and 500 000 tonnes for inland waterway transport). However, if the implementation of agreements, decisions or concerted practices has effects which are incompatible with the requirements of Article 101(3) TFEU, undertakings may be required to make such effects cease.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 169/2009


O J L 61 of 5.3.2009

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