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Shippers call for reform of Asian shipping trades

Shippers call for reform of Asian shipping trades

Macau: The Global Shippers' Forum has called on Asian governments to introduce the appropriate competition laws to prohibit liner conferences and discussion agreements that eliminate effective competition in Asian trades, writes Supply Chain Standard.

In its declaration following its annual meeting in Macau last week, the GSF said: "Ocean shipping reform and continued regulatory oversight of carriers remains a key policy priority for the GSF."

It said the past year had witnessed a variety of unacceptable shipping practices, ranging from the imposition of abrupt and opportunistic rate increases and surcharges, cargo "roll overs", the limitation of shipping capacity and a general lack of adherence to rate agreements and contractual arrangements on an unprecedented global scale.

The GSF argues that while there have been major changes in Europe to bring the shipping industry into line with the normal provisions of anti-trust laws and similar progress in North America, there has been no corresponding progress in Asia and other regions such as the African continent.

A GSF seminar involving regulators from Europe and North America was designed to kick start a policy debate in Asia to draw attention to the unfavourable position of Asian shippers which, it says, are afforded little or no protection by the application of anti-trust laws and to inaugurate an Asian maritime regulatory reform campaign to bring Asia into line with Europe and North America. [13/09/10]

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