Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement

Part Five: Competition Policy

Chapter XI : Competition Policy

Article XI .1 Purpose

The purposes of this Chapter are to ensure that the benefits of trade liberalization are not undermined by anticompetitive activities and to promote cooperation and coordination between the competition authorities of the Parties.

Article XI .2 General Principles

1. Each Party shall adopt or maintain measures to proscribe anticompetitiveactivities and shall take appropriate enforcement action pursuant to those measures, recognizing that such measures will enhance the fulfillment of the objectives of this Agreement.

2. Each Party shall ensure that the measures referred to in paragraph 1, and the enforcement actions pursuant to those measures, are applicable on a non-discriminatory basis.

3. For the purpose of this Chapter, anticompetitiveactivities include, but are not limited to, the following:

4. Each Party shall ensure that:

5. Each Party shall establish or maintain an impartial competition authority that is:

6. Each Party shall ensure that its judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings to address anticompetitive activities are fair and equitable, and that in such proceedings, persons that are directly affected:

7. Each Party shall ensure that, where there are any judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings to address anticompetitiveactivities,an independent domestic judicial or quasi-judicial appeal or review process is available to persons subject to any final decision arising out of those proceedings.

Article XI .3 Cooperation

1. The Parties recognize the importance of cooperation and coordination of enforcement actions including notification, consultation and exchange of information.

2. Subject to Article XI.4, and unless providing notice would harm its important interests, each Party shall notify the other Partywith respect to its enforcement actions that may affect that other Party's important interests, and shallgive full and sympathetic consideration to possible ways of fulfilling its enforcement needs without harming those interests.

3. For the purpose of this Chapter, enforcement actions that may affect the important interests of the other Party and therefore will ordinarily require notification include those that:

4. Notification will ordinarily be given as soon as the competition authority of a Party becomes aware thatthe notifiable circumstancespursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 are present.

5. In accordance with their laws, the Parties may enter into additional cooperation and mutual legal assistance agreements, arrangements, or both in order to further the objectives of this Chapter.

Article XI .4 Confidentiality

Nothing in this Chapter shall require the provision of information by a Party or its competition authority contrary to its laws. The Parties shall, to the fullest extent possible, maintain the confidentiality of any information communicated to it in confidence by the other Party. Any information communicated shall only be used for the purpose of the enforcement action for which it was communicated.

Article XI .5 Technical Assistance

In order to achieve the objectives of this Chapter, the Parties agree that it is in their common interest to work together in technical assistance initiatives related to competition policy, measures to proscribe anticompetitive activitiesand enforcement actions.

Article XI .6 Consultations

1. The Parties shall consult either at least once every two years, or pursuant to Article XIII.4 (Cooperation) on the written request of aParty, to consider matters regarding the operation, implementation, application or interpretation of this Chapterand to reviewthe Parties' measures to proscribe anticompetitive activities and the effectiveness of enforcement actions. EachParty shall designate one or more officials, including an official from each competition authority, to be responsible for ensuring that consultations, when required, occur in a timely manner.

2. If the Parties do not arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution of a matter arising from the written request of a Party made under paragraph 1, they shall refer the matter to the Commission for consideration under Article XIII.1.2(c) (The Free Trade Commission).

3. Except as provided in paragraph 1, neither Party may have recourse to dispute settlement under this Agreement or to any kind of arbitration for any matter arising under this Chapter.

Article XI .7 Definitions

For purposes of this Chapter, these terms shall have the following definitions:

anticompetitive activities means any conduct or transaction that may be subject to penalties or other relief under:

as well as any amendments thereto, and such other laws or regulations as the Parties may jointly agree to be applicable for purpose of this Chapter.

competition authority(ies) means:

enforcement action(s) means any application of measures referred to in paragraph 1 of Article XI .2 by way of investigation or proceeding.

measures means laws, regulations, procedures, practices or administrative rulings of general application.

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