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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why Brussels should end the current competition rules for carriers

Joining Lloyd’s List Editor Richard Meade on this week’s podcast is Olaf Merk who heads the OECD’s influential inter-governmental think tank — the International Transport Forum. He’s just dropped a bombshell into the European Commission’s review of competition rules for liner shipping, arguing that current block exemption regulation should be allowed to expire in April 2020

Listen to the latest edition of Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping in the week ahead


EUROPE’s competition rules for liner shipping is a topic that draws robust and entrenched views from all quarters of the industry, and beyond.

Ocean carriers are inevitably firmly in favour of maintaining their block exemption. Their customers, however, believe the regulation distorts market competition and given the woeful reliability of the current market any suggestion that the status quo supports efficiency is frankly laughable.

It’s a complex legal debate, but at its heart we’re basically asking whether the three global alliances are beyond the reach of the regulators.

If google isn’t, the shipping industry certainly has a case to answer in this review.

Are we special? Of course.

But special enough to justify exemptions from competitions law?

Well, that’s a difficult one to answer.

 All stakeholders are going to be weighing in with their submission to the European Commission’s current review of competition law before December 20th deadline, but one of the first out the gates is the OECD’s submission which has come down firmly in favour of an to special treatment for shipping, arguing that the current regime should be allowed to expire in April 2020.

 That is position already causing controversy with the shipping industry representatives who will now need to counter this high profile and arguably very influential recommendation when they make their own submissions.

Joining Lloyd’s List Editor Richard Meade on the podcast this week is the author of the report Olaf Merk who leads the work on ports and shipping at the OECD’s inter-governmental think tank, the International Transport Forum.

You can read Lloyd’s List’s detailed coverage of the report here.

Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to the Lloyd’s List Podcast via iTunes and most other podcast providers. And make sure you are registered for a free account on Lloydslist.com so you can receive our Daily Briefing e-mail.





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