EU looks to break from anti-cartel rules

The EU has begun the long process that will decide, before next year, whether the rules – the so-called Maritime Guidelines – that ban cartel cooperation on, for instance, Asia-Europe, will be extended beyond 2013. Some things point toward a repealing of the rules.

Photo: Maersk Line

The EU ban against cartel cooperation between competing shipping companies, as found in the Maritime Guidelines, could possibly be repealed in 2013. In any case, officials seem to indicate – in a memo made available to ShippingWatch – that the rules will not be extended.

The rules have been in place since September 2008 and have meant that liner shipping companies have been barred from holding conferences to settle rates and other matters regarding transportation for a five year period, which looks to expire in about one year, in September 2013. The purpose of the new Guidelines was “to help the shipping companies’ transition into a new era of competition and self assessment in liner shipping,” as stated by the Commission. The rules have been highly focused on the exchange of information between the shipping companies, and their market positions and pooling cooperation.

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