Five-year limit to petrol station, supplier deals recommended

A proposal for a five-year limit to contracts between petrol station operators and petroleum trading companies has been submitted to the local Competition Commission and is scheduled to be examined on November 13.

According to the proposal, research conducted by the General Secretariat for Competition determined that numerous exclusive long-term agreements had been reached between petrol station owners and petroleum trading companies, entailing practices such as leasing and sub-leasing deals from petrol stations to traders.

Supply contracts, through such deals, are considered as being problematic in terms of competition law, as they limit the contractual freedom of petrol station owners to  purchase fuel from suppliers of their choice.

Besides proposing a five-year limit on future contracts, the proposal, which is non-binding, also suggests a gradual termination of the validity of existing agreements.