8 April 2013
Ivo Belet (PPE)
The changes to the UK Pet Travel Scheme, which have brought it into line with European legislation, have made it possible for ferry passengers to take their pets on ferry crossings between ports in EU Member States and the United Kingdom since 1 January 2012.
All ferry operators between the United Kingdom and continental Europe charge an administration fee of at least GBP 15 per pet. The same operators, however, charge no additional fee for pets on crossings of comparable length between the United Kingdom and Ireland.
1. Does the Commission believe that this price policy pursued by commercial ferry companies operating crossings between continental Europe and Ireland and the United Kingdom complies with European legislation?
2. In connection with the new rules, can the Commission check whether ferry companies operating crossings between the United Kingdom and continental Europe have made price agreements on the administration fees for taking pets abroad?
24 May 2013
Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
1. European level passenger rights legislation does not regulate the pricing policies for transporting pets. Those commercial practices should therefore be examined in the light of national consumer law.
2. Price agreements between competing companies fall within the scope of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This Article prohibits agreements and concerted practices between undertakings which prevent, restrict or distort competition, insofar as they may affect trade between Member States. In the case mentioned by the Honourable Member of the Parliament, the level and the ways each company applies fees for the transport of pets appear very different from one another, as a cursory check of price offers illustrates. Therefore there does not seem to be any evidence of a violation of Article 101 TFEU.