ASA: The Antitrust Immunity for Carrier Agreements Remains Beneficial
ASA has submitted to the European Commission in October 2022, in collaboration with ICS and WSC, their solid position that the CBER is an important regulatory tool that yields significant benefits to a variety of stakeholders, with no downside from a competition or consumer welfare perspective, recommending that it be extended for another term without amendment.
Therefore, the recent recommendation by DG COMP not to renew the EU Block Exemption for liner shipping consortia was met with disagreement, and ASA would like to once again emphasise that the importance of antitrust immunity for carrier agreements remains unchanged for the purpose of enhancing the economic efficiency of liner services with a wider range of services and port calls at a higher frequency without legal uncertainty.
Following the EC’s repeal of the CBER, Mr Yuichi Sonoda, the Secretary General of ASA, commented that “the European Commission recognises the value of liner shipping consortia and vessel sharing agreements and has now chosen to ensure the legal certainty of those carrier agreements under the general EU antitrust rules. At the same time, ASA continues to voice the importance of antitrust immunity in jurisdictions worldwide to ensure efficient and sustainable maritime transport for the global economy.”
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