NCBFAA INTENSIFIES BATTLE TO REVOKE CARRIERS’ ANTITRUST IMMUNITY
The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America will
intensify its battle to end ocean carrier antitrust immunity in the Ocean Shipping Reform
The initial intent of maintaining carrier antitrust immunity, the ability for
carriers to act collectively, was to protect what’s left of the U.S.-flag carriers.
Forwarders and non-vessel-operating common carriers say antitrust immunity is
no longer needed, because most of the U.S.-flag carriers have been sold to foreign
entities. The industry also says that carriers are abusing their collective powers by
discriminating against small shippers, forwarders and NVOs.
"Over the early months of OSRA, it is clear that our intermediary
community is greatly disadvantaged by the preservation of this privilege — one that is
hardly consistent with an open and fair marketplace where we can all compete," said
Peter H. Powell Sr., president of the NCBFAA in a letter to its 600 member firms.
The NCBFAA supports a recent bill (H.R. 3138) initiated by Henry Hyde,
R-Ill., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to abolish antitrust immunity in OSRA.
"It would revoke antitrust immunity from the carriers, making them
vulnerable to Justice Department enforcement for collusive behavior and discriminatory
treatment of NVOs and forwarders," Powell said.
Part of the NCBFAA’s battle plan is to begin a letter-writing campaign to
about 20 House members with committee assignments that may influence the Hyde bill.