European Commission announces public consultation on the evaluation of the Commercial Agents Directive


Opportunity for stakeholders to share their views and suggestions

The European Commission recently announced its intention to evaluate the functioning of the Commercial Agents Directive (86/653/EEC), which was adopted on 18 December 1986. In the light of this, the European Commission has started a public consultation, inviting stakeholders to contribute to the consultation. It is an opportunity for stakeholders to share their views on the Directive and to comment on e.g. its effectiveness and efficiency.


The Commercial Agents Directive (and implementing legislation) governs contracts between commercial agents and their principals. For the purposes of the Directive 'commercial agent' means a self-employed intermediary who has continuing authority to negotiate the sale or the purchase of goods on behalf of the principal, or to negotiate and conclude such transactions on behalf of and in the name of that principal.

The Directive regulates inter alia the remuneration of commercial agents, the conclusion and termination of agency contracts, restraint of trade after termination of an agency contract, as well as termination indemnity.


The European Commission now invites comments on the functioning of Directive. Submissions in the consultation will be taken into account in the evaluation of the Directive. Therefore, this is a useful opportunity for stakeholders, including commercial agents, principals or other parties involved to present their views with respect to the Directive.

The European Commission in particular invites stakeholders to give their views on the future of the Directive and therefore this is also an excellent opportunity to present possible changes to the Directive.

A link to the consultation may be found here

The consultation runs until 31 October 2014.

Members of Bird & Bird's International Commercial Group would be delighted to assist in any submission to the consultation.

Bird & Bird's International Commercial Group will monitor further developments following the evaluation.

Bird & Bird's International Commercial Group

We have a leading team of experts offering an integrated commercial offering to clients. The group includes other practice groups with market leading commercial lawyers across all of our offices and works independently as opposed to being a support function to the firm.

Our sector approach means we have a deep understanding of how businesses work and understand the key business divers applicable to our clients’ sectors. This enables us to guide our clients through the entire lifecycle of their business, providing practical legal solutions to practical business challenges.

The group works in conjunction with the firm’s other practice areas to provide a complete solution to clients’ requirements. Clients come to us to act not only as expert technical lawyers but as ‘trusted advisors’ who support the business as a whole and help them to achieve their objectives. We provide solutions rather than simply identifying problems.