The EC requested input from businesses, industry associations, consumer groups and other stakeholders who have had direct experience in applying the block exemption regulations (BERs) for agreements on research and development (R&D) and for agreements on specialization in production that generate efficiencies in the production or distribution of goods. BERs permit the Commission to exempt from Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty certain agreements or practices that have the effect of promoting competition or innovation. The R&D and specialization BERs are set to expire in 2010.  

Comments must be received by the Commission no later than January 31, 2009. A questionnaire issued by the EC is now available.