National Secretaries reviewed on current situation

The Secretarial Working Group (SWG) met virtually on Friday, 22nd January 2021.

Mr. Olivier Mazoyer, President of the IUCAB, and Mr. Christian Rebernig, Secretary General, welcomed the National Secretaries from 11 countries, who discussed the current situation and its impact on commercial agents.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Charles Cohon (MANA, USA), Ms Rachel Détain and Ms. Claire Machet (APAC, France), Mr. Eckhard Doepfer (CDH, Germany), Ms Annemarie Grob (VNHI, Netherlands), Ms Eeva Pakkanen and Ms Tintti Ikonen (FFTAF, Finland), Mr. David Johnson and Mr. Matt Tickle (The MAA, UK & Ireland), Mr. Jordi Marti (COACB, Spain), Mr. José Francisco Orero Pardo (COAC Valencia, Spain), Mr. Marco Righetti and Mr. Mattia Ursetta (USARCI, Italy), Mr. Javier Ignacio Rodriguez Blanco (CGAC, Spain), Ms Damjana Sever (PTZ, Slovenia) and Ms Helena Waker (Tradepartners, Sweden). Mr. Trond Bergestuen (USA) and Mr. Giacomo Bottaro (Italy) were invited to take part as guest speakers.

The SWG Chairman, Mr. David Johnson, opened the meeting and handed over to Mr. Christian Rebernig who gave a brief overview of the COVID-19 situation and economic figures of various countries worldwide. Based on this information Mr. Javier Rodriguez presented the preliminary results of the Covid-Survey which was conducted by the Spanish Members Association CGAC. The survey indicated that commercial agents may face a loss between 40 and 80% due to the pandemic.

Mr. Christian Rebernig informed about the process of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) and the Vertical Guidelines (VGL). The public consultation is currently ongoing and a draft proposal is expected in autumn 2021.

Mr. Trond Bergestuen introduced the MANA Survey, which he conducted with Independent Manufacturers’ Representatives (IMRs) in the USA in order to explore the key variables that affect the relationship between them and their principals. The study may strengthen the relationship of the manufacturers and IMRs by sharing the results with stakeholders. Leaned on this survey, the members of the SWG agreed to undertake a similar study on the European commercial agents and thus to illustrate differences between the agents in Europe and the USA.

Mr. Giacomo Bottaro proposed a partnership between GL Events Exhibitions and IUCAB to facilitate the visit of trade fairs by the commercial agents who are associated to IUCAB National Associations. Additionally, it is offered to set up a conference driven by IUCAB.

Mr. Christian Rebernig informed about the IUCAB Training Program. The Member Associations are invited to renew or apply their national programs. He also reminded that Associations are welcome to nominate candidates for the George Hayward Award 2021.

The decision in which form the next Delegate´s Meeting in May will take place (in person or virtually) will be made soon.
The next SWG meeting is scheduled for autumn.