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Article 7U.K.Central stockholding entities

1.Member States may set up CSEs.

No Member State may set up more than one CSE or any other similar body. A Member State may set up its CSE at any location within the Community.

Where a Member State sets up a CSE, it shall take the form of a body or service without profit objective and acting in the general interest and shall not be considered to be an economic operator within the meaning of this Directive.

2.The main purpose of the CSE shall be to acquire, maintain and sell oil stocks for the purposes of this Directive or for the purpose of complying with international agreements concerning the maintenance of oil stocks. It is the only body or service upon which powers may be conferred to acquire or sell specific stocks.

3.CSEs or Member States may, for a specified period, delegate tasks relating to the management of emergency stocks and, with the exception of sale and acquisition, of specific stocks, but only to:

(a)

another Member State within whose territory such stocks are located or the CSE set up by that Member State. Tasks thus delegated may not be subdelegated to other Member States or to CSEs set up by them. The Member State that set up the CSE, as well as each Member State within whose territory the stocks will be held, has the right to make the delegation conditional upon its authorisation;

(b)

economic operators. Tasks thus delegated may not be subdelegated. Where such a delegation, or any change or extension to that delegation, involves tasks relating to the management of emergency and specific stocks held in another Member State, it must be authorised in advance both by the Member State on whose account the stocks are held and by all Member States within whose territories the stocks will be held.

4.Each Member State having a CSE shall require it, for the purposes of Article 8(1) and (2), to publish:

(a)

on an ongoing basis, full information, broken down by product category, on the stock volumes that it can undertake to maintain for economic operators, or, where appropriate, interested CSEs;

(b)

at least 7 months in advance, the conditions subject to which it is willing to provide services related to maintaining the stocks for economic operators. Τhe conditions under which services may be provided, including conditions relating to scheduling, may also be determined by competent national authorities or following a competitive procedure intended to determine the best bid among operators or, where appropriate, interested CSEs.

CSEs shall accept such delegations under objective, transparent and non-discriminatory conditions. Payments by the operators for the services of the CSE shall not exceed the full costs of the services rendered and may not be required until the stocks are constituted. The CSE may make its acceptance of a delegation conditional upon the operator’s provision of a guarantee or some other form of security.