testata inforMARE

10 August 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 18:28 GMT+2

July 22, 2022

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Shippers and shippers ask the EU Commission to put its hand back to the exemption regulation for category for containerized shipping companies

Urge an urgent review of the rules

Shippers and shippers try again. Today ten associations representing these categories as well as other operators of the maritime-port sector have asked the European Commission the immediate start of a revision of the European regulation of block exemption for shipping companies containerized, regulation - they recalled - that exempts these maritime carriers from many of the checks and balances provided eu competition law and allows them - denounced the ten associations - to exchange commercially sensitive information in order to manage the number and the capacity of the ships used and the frequency and dates departures of ships used on trade routes in all over the world.

In their letter to the Commission in which they ask that the regulation, which was signed by CLECAT, FEPORT, European Shippers' Council, European Barge Union, Global Shippers' Forum, European Tugowners Association, UIRR, FIATA, International Association of Movers and FIDI Global Alliance, yes recalls that the Regulation was last renewed in 2020 ( of 24 March 2020) and it is underlined that since then European companies and other parts of the supply chain have had to endure the considerable inefficiencies of container shipping, with many departures of ships that have been cancelled or that have been diverted to other ports or with ports that have been "skipped" from maritime services. To this was added, in the at the same time, an exceptional increase in the price of sea freight, tariffs that for many routes have more than quadrupled and continue to stay at a level three to four times higher than that of 2019, before the pandemic.

"The effects of lockdowns on the production of goods and shifts in demand due to the effects of the Covid - the ten associations have detected - have certainly been significant, but the capacity of the transport sector maritime to collectively manage these impacts, and at the same time to produce profits totaling over 186 billion dollars in 2021, at the expense of the remaining part of the supply chain and, in lastly, european consumers, it shows that something is wrong. The benefits of exemptions from the general legislation on competition enjoyed by shipping companies are not equally distributed between the companies and the rest of the economy, and this in itself constitutes a valid reason why the exemption by category should be reviewed urgently'.

In the letter the associations highlight that the investigations conducted in the United States by the Federal Maritime Commission have led to the recent passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act ( of 14 June 2022), legislation that addresses many of the complaints of the customers and service providers of shipping companies containerized.

The ten associations concluded by noting that the review of the Regulation will allow all interested parties to present evidence and arguments on how the European Commission should take action to ensure that the transport market containerised maritime operates fairly and transparently, and this should include the examination of new measures and mechanisms that should be assessed and implemented before the expiry of the regulation currently in force scheduled for April 2024.

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