German Competition Register – Obligation to notify and possibility to query as of 1 December 2021

The notification and query obligations in relation to the competition register will enter into force on 1 December 2021. This means that electronic data transmission to the competition register may start. The nationwide competition register provides public contracting authorities, sector contracting authorities and concession grantors with information on whether a company is to be excluded or can be excluded from a public procurement procedure due to economic offences committed.

The President of the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), Andreas Mundt, confirmed that the competition register is ready and the electronic communication channels are functioning. The announcement as of 29 October 2021 also creates the formal conditions enabling to make entries and allow queries. The timeline is clear, he said: From December, competent authorities are obliged to notify relevant infringements. At the same time, registered contracting authorities in procurement procedures will also be able to access the competition register for the first time. From June 2022, a duty to query will apply above certain contract values. Mundt therefore appeals to contracting authorities that are not yet registered to register without delay in order to comply with their statutory duty to query.

The FCO already started operating the competition register in March 2021 with the launch of the registration of public bodies. The FCO is now able to make entries in the Competition Register and provide contracting authorities with information on existing entries in award procedures.

Now the following key dates are relevant:

  • As of 01 December 2021, the prosecuting authorities as well as the authorities appointed to prosecute administrative offences are obliged to notify the FCO (register authority) of legal infringements relevant to the register. As of this date, registered contracting authorities already have the possibility to query the competition register.
  • As of 01 June 2022, contracting authorities are obliged to consult the competition register in award procedures with contract values specified in more detail in Section 6 WRegG.
  • From 01 June 2022, undertakings and natural persons may request information on the content of the competition register concerning them.
  • As of 01 June 2022, entities that maintain an official register that complies with the requirements of Article 64 of Directive 2014/24/EU (Public Procurement Directive) may, with the consent of the entity concerned, request information on the content of the competition register concerning the entity.

Until the applicability of the query obligation on 01 June 2022, the previously existing query obligations, with regard to the corruption registers of the federal states and the commercial central register, will remain in place. The possibility to query the central business register on a voluntary basis will remain in place for another three years after this date.

Autor: Christina Hummer