ESC concerned about slow pace of carrier antitrust review
The European Shippers’ Council is concerned about the possibility that the European Commission’s review of the conference antitrust regulation 4056/86 will get caught up in lengthy and intimading procedures.
“There are concerns that this will be taking too long,” said Andrew Traill, spokesman for the European Shippers’ Council and a policy expert at the U.K.-based Freight Transport Association. Procedures could prolong the review, he added.
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday (Sept. 17), the European Shippers’ Council, the U.S. National Transportation League and several Asian shippers’ councils called on the European Commission “to proceed as deliberately and expeditiously as possible” with the review.
The Freight Transport Association, whose British Shippers’ Council is a member of the European Shippers’ Council, fears that the European Commission will decide to open oral hearings as part of its review of the maritime regulation.
This would make it more difficult for shippers to press for a radical reform, according to Traill. Unlike ocean carriers, individual shippers will be reluctant to speak out at a potential hearing, he said.
Uniting in their opposition to conferences and discussion agreements, international organizations representing shippers have backed the European Shippers’ Council demand that the conference immunity be withdrawn in European trades.
“We cannot accept something that maintains the status quo,” Traill told American Shipper.