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Hong Kong hesitates on exemption for container carriers

Container shipowners in the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association are appealing to the authorities in Hong Kong for exemption from competition regulations.

Photo: Jan Grarup

The exemption for container shipowners from the current competition regulations in Hong Kong, one of Asia's most important hubs, expired on December 14th. Now the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association is formally applying for an extension of the exemption, but no decision has been made so far by the authorities.

Without the extension, the carriers' cooperation in the so-called Vessel Sharing Agreements (VSA) and thereby also the major container alliances will be outlawed. The shipowners as well as other companies seeking exemption, do however, benefit from a grace period while the authorities process the application and make a decision.

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