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Dutch shippers dispute EU block shipping exemption

The Dutch Shippers’ Council (Evofenedex) is opposed to an extension of the EU’s Block Exemption Regulation for liner shipping consortia without a thorough investigation

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Evofenedex is calling on the European Commission in Brussels to investigate the dominant position of the container line alliances and to impose transparency rules on the way they operate.

 

The EC’s market consultation period runs through December and January next year. The Council noted that, by extending the Block Exemption Regulation (BER), it will have been in force for the past five years, and the EC is harming normal cooperation between market parties.

 

An investigation by the OECD’s International Transport Forum (ITF) has shown that the BER has not improved service levels for trading and production companies, contrary to the anti-trust exemption’s goal, while UNCTAD has called on regulatory authorities to be much more vigilant.

 

“The agreements the shipping lines strike in their worldwide operating consortia are secret," stated Evofenedex’s Director Machiel van der Kuijl. "We find it undesirable that there can be an exemption on European competition rules, when the underlying deals are not public. Consequently, the lines’ customers miss out on full information needed to assess with which line they should do business. We will table this in the Commission’s consultation.”

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