Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries appeals resolution by Competition Council on alleged infringements of competition rules
Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries has appealed to Vilnius Regional Administrative Court the decision by Competition Council, resolving that Chamber of Notaries and members of Chamber’s Presidium had entered into an agreement restricting competition and thereby infringed the requirements of Law on Competition and Article 101(1)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
“In the rule of law no one can be prosecuted for complying with the law”, President of Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries Marius Stračkaitis said.
Several years ago the Presidium of Chamber of Notaries has established the fees for the certification of mortgage certifications, filling the gaps in regulations, left by the Ministry of Justice. By doing that, the Presidium fulfilled the obligations imposed to the Chamber by laws and regulations. In 2017, the Competition Council commenced an investigation into the compliance of the actions of the Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries with Article 5 of the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania.
After the investigation the Competition Council has obligated the Chamber of Notaries and members of its Presidium to terminate the alleged infringements of the Law on Competition and the EU Treaty, also imposing financial fines on the Chamber and members of Presidium.
Marius Stračkaitis, the President of the Chamber, called the Council’s resolution legally null and void and a skipping the Constitution and laws.
According to him, the Chamber of Notaries and its bodies have the direct legal obligation to harmonize the notarial practice. The decisions of Chamber of Notaries regulating the fees for mortgage transactions were completely in line with the mandate of the Chamber. The Ministry of Justice multiple times has been informed about the actions of the Chamber and never questioned them or raised any doubts.