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ICS welcomes extension of EU exemption for container vessel sharing agreements

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed an extension of the EU Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (BER) for liner shipping until at least April 2024.

The European Commission (EC) published the regulation confirming the extension on Tuesday in recognising the importance and benefits of vessel sharing agreements throughout the container shipping industry moving goods between EU and global trading partners.

“The decision is very important because it will also influence the position taken by other competition authorities around the world as and when they periodically review the application of their own competition rules to international liner shipping” said Simon Bennett, ICS deputy secretary general.

“While the Commission arrived at its important decision before COVID-19 took hold, the knowledge that co-operative vessel sharing arrangements can continue with legal certainty will assist the recovery of global maritime trade once the current crisis is over,” Bennett added.

The use of liner consortia and vessel sharing arrangements allows participating companies to pool their containerships together, providing service frequencies which they would be unable to provide alone, while also delivering cost efficiencies for customers.

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