On 23 January 2024, Azerbaijani President promulgated a new Competition Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan into a law. The Competition Code would become effective starting from 1 July 2024.
Once the Competition Code enters into force, previous laws, i.e. the Law on Antitrust Activities, the Law on Unfair Competition and the Law on Natural Monopolies would be considered as revoked.
The Competition Code is comprised of 12 chapters and 84 articles. Unlike previously effective competition laws of Azerbaijan, the new Code regulates competition, antitrust, monopolies, rights and duties of market participants, competition authority, sanctions and penalties, detailed rules about vertical and horizontal agreements restricting competition, unfair competition, economic concentration of market, monopolies and related matters in detail and introduces significant amount of new concepts, rules and regulations into business regulation law in Azerbaijan.
Under the Presidential decree approving the Competition Code, within 6 months, the Cabinet of Ministers shall submit its legislative draft on the penalties and sanctions for the breach of the Competition Code.
Moreover, the Competition Code requires the Cabinet of Ministers, within 6 months, to approve certain regulations which are necessary for the implementation of the Code, namely:
The Cabinet of Ministers, within 4 months, is required to adopt several rules and regulations about technical procedures, document forms, certain criteria, funding, lists, application procedures and other related matters necessary for the implementation of the Competition Code.
Note: At Caspian Legal Center, with a team of experienced lawyers, we provide advice regarding regulation of business, including structuring of entities and transactions, contractual terms at market entry stage, as well as during actual business operations. The new Competition Code provides grounds for heightened regulation of competition, with a detailed criteria and requirements regarding horizontal and vertical agreements between market participants. Our team is in a position to provide necessary advisory for the application of the new Azerbaijani competition laws to business relations, business operations and business contracts, and make recommendations for the compliance with the new Competition Code, keeping the actual business needs in mind.
(Orkhan Beydiyev, Legal Manager, mob: +994 55 260 49 40)