Specifically, the European Commission announced that the CBER will be expanded, set to expire on April 25, 2020, while the Commission will finalize the initiative prior to its expiry.

This decision was followed by complaints coming from the Forum, which supports that the BER ignores the views of exporters and importers to and from the EU and their global suppliers and customers, who are concerned at continuing poor service levels in some trades served by consortia due to over-investment in capacity and seeming lack of competitive pressures.

James Hookham, Secretary General of GSF commented that

We are disappointed with the outcome of the Commission’s review and disagree on several points with its reasoning. We shall be setting out our concerns and arguments in response, and campaigning for greater policing of shipping lines’ activities.

Mr Hookham added that the Commission missed "the opportunity to ask the bigger questions about how the shipping sector got into its current situation of historically low shipping rates and over-capacity on many routes and whether the continuing exemptions from normal competition rules provided by the Block Exemption are the right remedy in the long term."

Concluding, he stated that European manufacturers and retailers should be better supported and have better service from their competition authority.