Code of Conduct

AECIP considers it important that its activities are at all times developed in accordance with applicable regulations, in particular with competition legislation. AECIP considers that the business activity must be carried out in an environment of free competition, that is, based on price and quality. AECIP recognizes that competition legislation seeks to stimulate free competition, something that receives the full support of AECIP. AECIP therefore considers it important to reaffirm these principles through the adoption of a Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct will be mandatory for all its members and other participants who take part in the activities of AECIP. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to provide clear rules to the members of AECIP and, in this way, reduce the risk of improper conduct and consequently the imposition of sanctions.

The following rules must be respected at all times in AECIP:


  1. The meetings of an organ, committee, working group or any other structure of collaboration within AECIP may only take place after a written call to the members. The convening of the meeting should also include the Agenda of the meeting.
  2. Minutes shall be drawn up for each of the meetings referred to in point 1 above; This must be sent to all members of the body, committee, working group or any other collaboration structure in question. The record must be filed and maintained for a period of at least 7-10 years.
  3. The consultations and discussions within the body, committee, working group or any other structure of collaboration on the matters of the agenda or any other issue, when these are related to the market (that is, issues that could be of interest to determine the individual competitive position of the members), these should be limited to the official meeting, from which minutes will be drawn up.
  4. During the consultations referred to in point 3 above, the discussion of certain issues can not be agreed upon, on the condition that they will not be recorded in the minutes. If this should arise, the chairman of the meeting should refuse to discuss the matter in question.
  5. Each meeting of an organ, committee, working group or any other cooperation structure must have the participation of at least one person of the association’s staff. This person of the association will monitor those matters that may be sensitive from the point of view of the competition regulations. In case of doubt as to whether a certain matter could be in this sensitive sense, said matter should not be discussed until the advice of an expert in competition law has been obtained, and said advice will be aimed at making it clear if the matter can be debated without restrictions or within certain limits that must be observed.

A. Prohibited Matters

The following matters are prohibited and outside the scope of meetings of bodies, committees, working groups and other cooperation structures within AECIP, particularly to the extent that these issues are addressed between companies that could be considered competitors:

  • Sales prices, rates, price adjustments (expected), recommended prices, discounts, surcharges and other concepts related to the price of products or services of member companies
  • Market division / distribution through, for example, the assignment of a specific geographical area, specific customers or specific groups of customers to certain members
  • Production or sales restriction
  • Previous consultations regarding offers submitted to competitions called by potential clients
  • Charge the costs of the competitors’ offer in the offer itself
  • The exchange of market information among individual members, that is, information on production, billing, sales, investments, disinvestments, R & D expenses and other information, insofar as this affects specific products or services (specific categories) of products or services) and could be considered sensitive business information
  • Publication of the average price or price range of the sector
  • Exclusivity for certain members of the representation of producers and importers
  • Boycott of specific suppliers or clients
  • Any other matter that could lead to the coordination of market behaviors that restrict competition
  • Prior consultation among competitors who attend a contest (both in public tenders and in private purchases)
  • Agree that all competitors add a surcharge in their offer (which would then be used to “compensate” the costs of going to the contest of those companies that would not win it).

B. Matters that can be a problem

The following subjects may, under certain circumstances, represent a problem from the point of view of competition law, but especially in a highly concentrated, oligopolistic market (that is, a market with few agents). This implies that these issues must in any case only be addressed within AECIP after consultation with an expert on competition law:

  • General conditions of sale and supply. If these concern sensitive parameters of competitiveness (for example, prices, fees, form of indexation, when specific costs are charged) or if the conditions are binding, it is possible that the competition authorities have something to object;
  • Restrictions on participation in fairs. As a general rule, each company should be free to participate in the fairs you want and you can not ask companies to boycott participation in a fair. Any restriction on this freedom to participate is only allowed in certain circumstances. Collective bargaining by AECIP members to obtain a better price or other conditions of the organization of a fair is not a problem from the point of view of competition law;
  • Recognition / membership schemes. To the extent that a system of recognition or belonging of AECIP is not decisive in the decision of a potential client when choosing a product or service, no objections will be raised from the point of view of competition law. However, to the extent that a client considers it important, these systems must meet certain specific criteria
  • The AECIP secretariat is, in principle, authorized to collect commercial information from individual companies and to make said information available to members in an aggregate manner. In any case, it must be absolutely guaranteed that it is not possible to deduct the individualized information of the companies from said aggregate information. In some EU countries, national competition authorities will only authorize such statistical systems if the information collected can be considered sufficiently historical, for example, depending on the circumstances, present data that is at least one year old, and / or if the information is available to the public

C. Matters do not present any problem

The following subjects constitute the central activity of most of the activities of AECIP and discussions and consultations on these matters are not normally a problem in the light of competition law, as long as none of the topics mentioned in the Section A:

  • General cyclical economic data and business climate, to the extent that discussions on this matter do not refer to any individual business behavior. The focus of these discussions at the macro level would not affect the behavior of any company in the market.
  • Lobby activities related to issues of general interest for the sector and that focus on regulations and other political aspects that could affect the sector.
  • Labor legislation and social affairs. These matters are considered irrelevant to the jurisdiction of competitionLegal issues. These issues are by definition of a general nature since they would affect the activity of any company in the same average.
  • Environmental issues. AECIP is interested in improving the protection of the environment in terms of the use of products from the sector.
  • Health and safety issues. AECIP is interested in improving safety and health in relation to the use of the products of the sector.
  • Standardization issues, if (i) the procedure for setting the standard is transparent and open to the participation of any interested agent, (ii) the obligation to comply with the standard is not established, (iii) access to said standard it is facilitated under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions, and (iv) any discussion within the procedure for drafting the standard is restricted to technical aspects. Standardization aims at the comparability of products and technical progress, which normally goes to the benefit of the end user.