Who We Are
The COMESA Competition Commission is a regional body established under Article 6 of the Regulations made under the Treaty establishing the Common Market. The Commission’s core mandate is to enforce the provisions of the Regulations with regard to trade between Member States and promote competition within the Common Market through monitoring and investigating anti-competitive practices of undertakings within the Common Market and mediating disputes between Member States concerning anti-competitive conduct.
In 2004, the COMESA Council of Ministers ( “Council”) invoked Article 55(3) of the COMESA Treaty and promulgated the COMESA Competition Regulations of 2004 (“the Regulations”), as a legal framework for the regulation of competition in the Common Market. The Regulations were promulgated in the realization that an efficient and integrated Common Market cannot thrive in an environment where firms engage in restrictive business practices which deter the efficient operation of the Common Market. The primary purpose of the Regulations is, therefore, to ensure the efficient operation of the markets with the view to enhancing free and liberalized trade as a prerequisite to safeguarding the welfare of consumers.
The Commission became operational on 14th January, 2013 and is based in Lilongwe, Malawi. The Commission enjoys the status of international legal personality and has in the territory of each Member State, the legal capacity required for the performance of its functions under the Treaty. Since the Regulations are now operational, it is the requirement that all cross-border transactions be notified for the necessary approval of the Commission.
Functions of the COMESA Competition Commission
The function of the Commission as enshrined in Article 7 of the Regulations is to:
- Monitor and investigate anti-competitive practices of undertakings within the Common Market, and mediate disputes between Member States concerning anti-competitive conduct;
- Regularly review regional competition policy so as to advise and make representations to the COMESA Council with a view to improving the effectiveness of the Regulation;
- Help the Member States promote national competition laws and institutions, with the objective of the harmonization of those national laws with the regional regulations to achieve uniformity of interpretation and application of competition law and policy within the Common Market;
- Co-operate with competition authorities in Member States; – Co-cooperate and assist the Member States in the implementation of its decisions;
- Provide support to Member States in promoting and protecting consumer welfare;
- Facilitate the exchange of relevant information and expertise;
- Enter into such arrangements as will enhance its ability to monitor and investigate the impact of conduct outside the Common Market but which nevertheless has, or may have, an impact on trade between Member States;
- Be responsible for developing and disseminating information about competition policy and consumer protection policy; and
- Co-operate with other agencies that may be established or recognized by COMESA to monitor and regulate any specific sector.