THE CARICOM COMPETITION COMMISSION

 

The CARICOM Competition Commission (the Commission) was established under Article 171 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas; and was inaugurated on January 18, 2008. It is headquartered at Hendrikstraat # 69 in Paramaribo, Suriname.

A seven-member team of part-time Commissioners took the oath of Office on the said date of inauguration. The team comprises Kusha Haraksingh PhD as Chairman; Mr. Patterson Cheltenham Q.C; Trevor Farrell PhD; Mr. Hans Lim A Po; Maureen Paul PhD; Barton Scotland PhD and Ambassador A.B. Stewart Stephenson. Appointments were made by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission, (RJLSC).

The Chairman was appointed by the RJLSC. Article 172 of Chapter VIII of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, requires, inter alia, that collectively, the members of the Commission possess expertise or experience in commerce, finance, economics, law, Competition Policy and practice, international trade and such other areas of expertise or experience as may be necessary. Commissioners are appointed for a term of five years, renewable for a further period of not more than five years, as shall be determined by the RJLSC.

FUNCTIONS

The following are among the main functions to be performed by the Commission:

- to apply the rules of competition in respect of anti-competitive cross-border business conduct

- to promote and protect competition in the Community

- to monitor anti-competitive practices of enterprises operating in the CSME

- to investigate and arbitrate cross-border disputes

- to keep the Community Competition Policy under review and advise and make recommendations to COTED to enhance its effectiveness

- to provide support to Member States in promoting and protecting consumer welfare

- to develop and disseminate information about Competition Policy and Consumer Protection Policy

POWERS

To facilitate the effective execution of its functions, the Commission is empowered to, among other things:

- secure the attendance of any person before it to give evidence

- require the discovery or production of documents - order the termination or nullification of prohibited agreements, conduct, activities or decisions

- issue Cease and Desist orders in respect of anti-competitive business conduct

- order payment of compensation to persons affected by anti-competitive business conduct

- impose fines for breaches of the rules of competition

It is important to note that by virtue of Article 174 (6) Member States are required to enact legislation to ensure that determinations of the Commission are enforceable in their jurisdictions.

FINANCING

The Commission’s recurrent expenditures are to be met primarily from Member States’ contributions. Start-up funding was provided by the European Commission under the Ninth European Development Fund (9th EDF).

CONTACT NUMBERS

The Commission may be reached by telephone at (597) 531818; (597) 491455; (597) 491439 and by facsimile transmission at (597) 530639.

Visit our website here: www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com

 

 
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