According to ETF, the favourable treatment of the shipping lines, as the one being guaranteed via the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER), should be abolished.
The exemption from EU antitrust rules allows some shipping lines to share vessel capacity and coordinate sailing schedules to adapt to demand fluctuation.
“However, this has only led to further market distortions, especially in the case of vertically integrated carriers, favouring the dominant position of shipping lines over terminal operators and other actors of the supply chain and resulting in pressure on working conditions for the dockers and the maritime workers at large, due to ever-growing peaks of activity and unreliability of the schedules,” says ETF.
One thing is for sure: while it is a handy legislative tool for increasing companies’ profits, it negatively impacts dockers and other maritime workers. This is why we encouraged our affiliates to speak up and ensure their points of view are included in the EC’s recent online evaluation of CBER regulation
ETF also added that while the role of the European Commission is to guarantee an accurate level playing field, “the CBER has turned out to be a disproportionate privilege from EU competition rules that caused severe harm to the workers and the principle of fair competition in the sector.”
Recently, the World Shipping Council (WSC), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) have submitted their input to the European Commission, calling for a renewal of the CBER and demonstrating how vessel sharing contributes to the EU policy goals of reducing transport emissions, increasing competitiveness and improving efficiency to reduce costs.
From an operational and environmental perspective, vessel sharing is like public transport and car-pooling schemes: seeking to maximise efficiency and reduce emissions through the shared use of transport assets and infrastructure, significantly reducing emissions per unit of cargo transported
stated Yuichi Sonoda, Secretary General of Asian Shipowners Association.
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