On 10 February 2017 the Implementation Act directive private enforcement competition law (Implementatiewet richtlijn privaatrechtelijke handhaving mededingingsrecht) entered into force. This act implements Directive 2014/104/EU into Dutch law, more particularly into book 6 of the Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure. The directive should have been implemented ultimately on 26 December 2016.

The implementation: only the necessary

The Implementation Act does not contain clauses that go beyond what is necessary for the implementation of the directive. The Explanatory Memorandum to the Implementation Act contains table of concordance, which indicates per clause of the directive whether and how that clause is implemented. Following the example of the directive, the Implementation Act only applies to cross border cases, excluding application of the Implementation Act to purely national violations of competition law.

The things one should take away from this new Act

The entry into force of the Implementation Act facilitates claims for damages resulting from cartels. For example, under the new Civil Code, an irrevocable decision of the Dutch competition authority has binding evidentiary value and a presumption of law applies that cartels inflict damage. In addition, rules on commencement, interruption and expiry of time limitations have been provided. Finally, under the new Code of Civil Procedure, special rules on access to documents have been included.

The Implementation Act makes it easier for your client to claim damages resulting from cartels in the Netherlands.