ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 34
Financial Times  

Asian shippers seeks removal of anti-competitive practices

The Asian Shippers’ Council (ASC) is seeking the immediate action of all regional governments to implement competitive/regulatory framework to eliminate anti competitive practices by liner conferences and to protect its industry and exporters.

In a statement, the ASC said for years, shippers have been lobbying for changes in maritime regulations, which are so heavily weighted in favour of liner shipping companies. At present, shipping companies are able to collectively set rates and service conditions. At the same time they dictate terms to smaller shippers and less powerful economic regions that lack mechanisms to check their activities.

In September 2006, the European Union Competitiveness Committee announced the repeal of the block exemptions granted to liner conferences which shall take effect in October 2008. The Federation of ASEAN Shippers’ Council (FASC) and ASC are commending the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) for its resolve in pressing for change in maritime regulatory regime and the European Commission ( EC ) for making that bold decision in changing a century old practice.

Though the EC decision applies to liner trades to and from the European Union (EU), delegates at the meetings believe this will usher in a new dawn for both shippers and carriers. The EC’s decision will prompt other governments to review and come up with the needed reform in the liner shipping sector.

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