The European Commission has adopted a report on the functioning of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (BER). The EU's antitrust rules require companies to assess for themselves whether their agreements are compatible with the EC Treaty's ban on restrictive business practices (Article 81). The BER exempts certain categories of agreements from the prohibition in Article 81 and provides a safe harbour for companies. Such a general exemption needs to be assessed at regular intervals, in order to determine whether the conditions which originally justified it, continue to exist. The BER was last renewed in 2003 and will expire on 31 March 2010. Agreements currently covered by the BER include the establishment of nonbinding standard policy conditions, the exchange of statistical information for the calculation of risks and the creation of insurance pools. The Report considers, at this stage, that two of the four categories of agreements currently exempted by the BER could be renewed, namely information exchange and insurance pools. A public hearing will take place on 2 June 2009 to allow stakeholders to submit their views orally. The Commission will then take a final decision on the future of the BER.