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WSC to take over from ELAA

Taipei: The European Liner Affairs Association will close as of 1st July following a decision by members at a meeting this week in Taipei that the group had successfully completed the tasks for which it was set up. The responsibilities for regulatory affairs worldwide for the liner industry will pass over the World Shipping Council (WSC) that already has an office in Brussels.

The ELAA was set up in 2003 to discuss with the European Union's Directorate General for Competition (DG Comp) the replacement of the Liner Conference regime in the EU.  This was completed with the publication of the Maritime Transport Guidelines in 2008.  ELAA's work was later extended to encompass the forthcoming revision of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation.  The Members took the view that there was unlikely to be any new regulatory issues for the industry before the renewal of the EU's Guidelines, due to take place in 2013.
 
WSC responsibilities will not be extended to the ELAA database, although the members agreed that it should now be extended to non-European trades. This will be implemented over the next year and will supply the liner industry with an accurate volume and rate database.

Chris Bourne, Executive Director of ELAA,  said, "The industry always intended to close ELAA once the work it was set up to do was completed.  I view with some satisfaction that the relationships between the liner shipping industry and DG Comp have immeasurably improved since 2003 and DG Comp now has a firm grasp of the importance of the liner industry to the European and global economies."

 "The reporting system and database is the true legacy of ELAA as the liner industry needs accurate data to manage its business in future years," he added.



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