With effect from 26 March 2015, various significant amendments have been made to the COMESA Competition Rules (the “Rules”) and the COMESA Competition Regulations (the “Regulations”), following a meeting of the Council of Ministers (the “Council”) in Ethiopia. Some of the most important developments are the following:
Filing fees reduced
- Noting the concerns raised by the business community that the thresholds for merger notification were set at zero and that filing fees of up to US$500,000 were payable, the has approved amendments to the COMESA Rules on the Determination of Merger Notification Threshold of 2012, reducing the cap of filing fees from US$500,000 to US$200,000. The percentage used in the calculation of filing fees has also been reduced from 0.5% to 0.1%.
Change in merger notification threshold
- It is also understood that the merger filing thresholds have been raised. In order for a merger to be notifiable to the COMESA Competition Commission:
- the combined turnover or assets (whichever is higher) of the merging parties in the Common Market must be US$50,000,000 or more; and
- each of the merging parties must have turnover or assets in the Common Market of at least US$10,000,000.
- In addition to the above, in circumstances where each of the merging parties generates 2/3 of their annual turnover in one and the same Member State, a COMESA filing will not be required and national notification obligations will apply instead.
Certification of documents
- Documents that were previously required to be certified but are difficult to certify due to their nature and/or size, such as technical reports, no longer need to be certified.