Competition Laws by Region

Aiming to harmonize their laws and regulations to facilitate regional and international air transport, some States have decided to enter into regional agreements on competition. In this section, ICAO group together these agreements presenting them based on geographic location. This non-exhaustive database was developed to provide easy and quick access to relevant information. Where possible, hyperlinks were inserted as references. In certain cases, the material is only available in a language other than English.


Under the leadership of the African Union (AU), the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), together with the various Regional Economic Communities (RECs), has been progressively promoting healthy competition by developing and implementing competition rules applicable to the air transport under the umbrella of Article 7 (competition rules) of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision (YD).


While most notable progress was made at the sub-regional level in implementing the YD, AU presented the Agenda 2063 in 2011 as an ambitious plan for the social-economic development and integration of the continent. As its flagship project, the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) was officially launched in 2018 to ensure the successful implementation of the YD, along with the adoption of the key institutional and regulatory texts of the YD. Among these texts, Annex 5 is specified on the Regulations on Competition in Air Transport Services within Africa, which aims at ensuring fair opportunity on a non-discriminatory basis for the designated eligible African airlines to effectively compete in providing air transport services within the African air transport market.


The competition regulation in Asia Pacific region has been progressing at the sub-regional level, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the major body, and also at national level of other States.


The ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Air Services signed in 2009 promotes fair and equal opportunity to compete, with Article 12 for fair competition and Article 13 for safeguards against anti-competitive practices including predatory pricing, capacity dumping, abuse of dominant position as well as State aid that distort competition.


Later in 2011, with the goal to transform ASEAN into a highly competitive economic region as envisaged in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint in 2008, ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Competition Policy was published as a general framework guide that seeks to enhance and expedite the development of national competition policy within each ASEAN Member State, with a view to creating a fair competition environment in ASEAN.


Competition policy in Europe is a vital part of the internal market, aiming to provide people in Europe with better quality goods and services at lower prices by applying rules to make sure companies compete fairly with each other. This encourages enterprise and efficiency, creates a wider choice for consumers and helps reduce prices and improve quality, which are the reasons why the European Union (EU) fights anticompetitive behaviour, reviews mergers and state aid and encourages liberalisation.


The European Commission, as the executive arm of EU, pursues an effective enforcement of comprehensive competition rules in the areas of antitrust and cartels, mergers and state aid, on the legal basis of the Articles 101 to 109 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Protocol No 27 on the internal market and competition, maintaining competition instruments aligned with market developments, as well as promoting a competition culture in the EU and world-wide.


The EU rules on competition specifically applicable to the air transport sector in the internal market are contained in the Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of EU on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community.


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As the members of Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC), most States in the Middle East region are part of the ACAC Agreement for the Liberalization of Air Transport among Arab States signed in 2004 that stated fair competition and non-discrimination in Article 9 and more specified rules of competition in Annex 2.


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