• 2020 March 25 18:06

    The European Commission prolongs the validity of block exemption for liner shipping consortia

    The European Commission has prolonged for another four years the regulation outlining the conditions under which liner shipping consortia can provide joint services without infringing EU antitrust rules that prohibit anticompetitive agreements between companies. This regulation known as the “Consortia Block Exemption Regulation” is therefore extended until 25 April 2024. More specifically, liner shipping consortia are agreements between shipping companies to operate joint liner shipping services and engage in certain types of operational cooperation leading to economies of scale and a better utilisation of the space on vessels.

    EU law generally bans agreements between companies that restrict competition. However, the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation allows, under certain conditions, liner shipping operators with a combined market share of below 30% to enter into cooperation agreements to provide joint liner shipping services (known as "consortia"). These agreements, however, cannot include price-fixing or market-sharing.

    The current Consortia Block Exemption Regulation was adopted in 2009 and prolonged in 2014 by five years, and was due to expire on 25 April 2020.
     
    In September 2018, the Commission launched a public consultation and conducted an evaluation of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation, which included a wide consultation of stakeholders in the maritime liner shipping supply chain. The findings of the evaluation were summarised in a Staff Working Document, which was published in November 2019 on the webpage of the consultation.

    The evaluation has shown that despite evolutions in the market (increased consolidation, concentration, technological change, increasing size of vessels) the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation is still fit for purpose, in line with the Commission's "Better Regulation" approach to policy- making, and delivers on its objectives. Moreover, the consortia agreements that meet the conditions set out in the Consortia BER continue to satisfy the conditions laid down in Article 101(3) TFEU.

    More specifically, the Commission has found that the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation results in efficiencies for carriers that can better use vessels' capacity and offer more connections. The exemption only applies to consortia with a market share not exceeding 30% and whose members are free to price independently. In that context, those efficiencies result in lower prices and better quality of service for consumers. Specifically, the evaluation has shown that in recent years both costs for carriers and prices for customers per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) have decreased by approximately 30% and quality of service has remained stable.

    The Commission decided therefore to prolong the validity of the Regulation for four years.
     
    Liner shipping services comprise the provision of regular, scheduled non-bulk maritime cargo transport (the vast majority in containers) on a specific route. They require significant levels of investment and therefore are regularly provided by several shipping companies cooperating in "consortia" agreements. Consortia can lead to economies of scale and better use of the space of the vessels. A fair share of the benefits resulting from these efficiencies can be passed on to the users of the shipping services in terms of better coverage of ports and better services.

    Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU") prohibits agreements between companies that restrict competition. However, under Article 101(3) TFEU, such agreements can be declared compatible with the Single Market provided they contribute to improving the production or distribution of goods or to promoting technical or economic progress, while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefits without eliminating competition.

    Council Regulation 246/2009 provides that, in accordance with the provisions of Article 101(3) TFEU, the Commission may exempt consortia agreements from the application of Article 101(1) TFEU for a period limited to five years, with the possibility of prolongation. Accordingly, the Commission has adopted the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EC) No 906/2009), which sets the specific conditions for such an exemption. These conditions notably aim at ensuring that customers enjoy a fair share of the resulting benefits.


2020 April 8

14:36 Vyborg Shipyard holds steel cutting ceremony for trawler of Project KMT02
14:02 The Kings of Spain check the maintenance of the supply chain in the port of Valencia
13:43 Lotos shipyard to build four dredgers for Russia’s inland water ways
13:21 Port Kolomna signs agreement with RF Ministry of Industry and Trade for ship srapping grant
13:02 North Carolina Ports completes Turning Basin Expansion Project at the Port of Wilmington
12:42 Shipping credit outlook revised to negative: cash crunch worsens as Covid-19 disrupts trade
12:05 Inland terminals at the Port of Hamburg hit by the corona crises differently
11:30 IAPH Tokyo secretariat transited to remote work from home
11:05 SAFEEN acquires its largest service vessel to date
11:02 BC Ferries adjusted service levels due to Covid-19 pandemic
10:39 ABB increases remote support for ships to help customers during the COVID-19 outbreak
10:38 Port of Gdansk actively supports fight against coronavirus
10:16 Tallink Grupp’s vessels Megastar, Galaxy and Baltic Princess suspend passenger transport to Finland
09:53 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Apr 08
09:40 Bunker prices start going up at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is down to 596 points
08:47 Golden Ocean announces appointment of Ulrik Uhrenfeldt Andersen as CEO

2020 April 7

18:38 RF Government makes big decision to quit transshipment of NOVATEK’s LNG in Norway
17:27 BashVolgotanker opens navigation with first tanker leaving Samara for Kavkaz
17:03 IADC moves its seminar and course to 2nd half of 2020
16:49 RF Navy’s oceanographic research vessel "Admiral Vladimirsky" arrived in the Durville Sea
16:05 ECSA and ETF launch joint project WESS
15:51 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
15:43 Port of Rotterdam adds Boxinsider to Portbase
15:28 Dredging works at LNG terminal in Klaipeda Seaport completed ahead of schedule
15:04 VTT to assess bio- and waste-based oils suitable for power plants and ships
14:43 Nordic Investment Bank is sponsoring expansion of Klaipeda Seaport
14:20 AET and TOTAL agree time charter for two LNG dual-fuel VLCCs
13:52 Rosmorport changed tariffs on crew boats services rendered in seaports of Eysk and Temryuk
13:29 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard introduced short-time operation till 30 April 2020
12:54 Rosmorport announces tender to reconstruct coastal facilities of Vanino-Kholmsk ferry service
12:26 Rosmorport announces tender to build and reconstruct port infrastructure in Nikolskoye settlement
11:47 Hydrographic vessel of RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet continues its long-distance cruise to Antarctica
11:09 Hurtigruten temporarily suspends operations
10:25 Brent Crude futures price is up 3% to $34.04, Light Sweet Crude – up 3.53% to $27
10:08 Stena Line to furlough 600 employees and make 150 redundant in UK and the Republic of Ireland due to COVID-19
09:53 Extraordinary security measures undertaken by PORT FLEET operating in Big Port St. Petersburg
09:34 Nuclear-powered container carrier Sevmorput unloaded cargo for Arctic LNG 2 project
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is down to 604 points
09:02 Austria's overseas traffic via Hamburg remains stable
08:46 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Apr 07
08:19 LR chosen for LNG Canada export terminal project in Kitimat

2020 April 6

18:37 Okeanis Eco Tankers announces three year VLCC time charter
18:06 Bureau Veritas helps to manage risk thanks to digitalized inspection services
17:45 Turnover of DeloPorts terminals in January-March of 2020 reached 2.6 mln tonnes, up 44% YoY
17:39 The production of Tallink’s new car and passenger ferry MyStar has started at Rauma shipyard
17:12 Maersk Container Industry signs first Star Cool milestone contract with Evergreen
17:06 Lloyd’s Register completes six-day, three-person audit for marine and offshore component and equipment business Whittaker Engineering
16:30 8,800 cbm of material dredged in Korsakov seaport
16:08 MABUX Digest: Top events on global bunker market: Week 14
16:06 CMA CGM cancels PSS for cargo from East Africa to Asia
15:59 The Korean Register releases the latest updated version of KR-CON
14:50 DNV GL’s new MMC unlocks unprecedented machinery efficiencies and insights
13:57 Technical fleet of Moscow Canal to begin navigation season on April 24
13:33 Construction of Tallink Grupp’s newest eco-friendly LNG-powered shuttle ferry to begin at RMC shipyard in Rauma
12:46 World Ports Covid19 Information Portal established
12:22 IMO issues guidance for delays in newbuild vessel deliveries due to COVID-19
12:00 Nanjing Jinling Shipyard launches the second of G5GG ro-ro vessels for Grimaldi Group
11:18 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO fell to RUB 6,299 in RF spot market
11:00 Port of Singapore remains open amidst additional precautionary measures