Brussels, 1 August 2012
Antitrust: Commission closes investigation in P&I Clubs case
The European Commission has closed its antitrust investigation into certain provisions accompanying claim-sharing and joint reinsurance agreements in the marine insurance sector.
P&I Clubs are mutual non-profit making associations that provide Protection & Indemnity insurance - a type of direct marine insurance - to their members, the ship owners.
The investigation focused on the International Group Agreement (IGA) and the Pooling Agreement between the P&I Clubs that contain rules on the sharing of insurance claims and joint reinsurance as well as rules on the contractual relationships between the P&I Clubs and their members. The aim of the procedure was to examine whether certain provisions of the agreements lessened competition between P&I Clubs and/or restricted, to a certain extent, the access of commercial insurers and/or other mutual P&I insurers to the relevant markets.
After opening proceedings in August 2010 (IP/10/1072), the Commission conducted a market investigation with ship owners, brokers and commercial insurers. The market investigation was not sufficiently conclusive to confirm the Commission's initial concerns.
The agreements concluded within the International Group of P&I Clubs were previously exempted from the competition rules of the European Union by a Commission Decision of 12 April 1999 (IP/99/230). The exemption expired on 20 February 2009.