Europe Moves to Abolish Shipping Line Conferences

The repeal will affect EU and non-EU carriers that operate on routes to and from Europe, including those that serve Europe-U.S. and Europe-Far East lanes. As the Commission explains, “liner conferences are agreements between liner shipping companies on prices and other conditions of carriage: as such they reduce competition between members of those conference, and lead to higher prices for users.”

To make sure of fostering more competitive markets, guidelines will be issued governing maritime competition before the repeal becomes effective at the end of a two-year transition period, in October 2008. Liner shipping represents 40% of EU external trade by sea.

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