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Brussels-based ocean carrier lobby group, the European Liner Affairs Association, wants the European Commission to make it clearer just what will or won't be lawful when liner conferences are abolished in October 2008.
The EC published its draft guidelines on maritime competition law in September, but Chris Bourne, executive director of the ELAA, said that imprecise wording in that document could lead to legal wrangles.
'We are pleased that DG Comp (the EC's Directorate General of Competition) has taken onboard so many of the practical suggestions that the lines require in order to provide a reliable and efficient service for their customers,' said Bourne at the European Maritime Law Organization's (EMLO) annual conference in London on Friday.
'Moreover there are none of the false accusations of collusion in these Draft Guidelines as we have been subject to in the past. But the lawyers advise me that there is much still open to interpretation. We would hope that these potential ambiguities are eliminated in the final version of the guidelines.
“The industry requires and deserves clear and precise Guidelines that will direct the lines in their cooperative actions and that will avoid time and money wasting legal disputes,' Bourne concluded.