BIFA Director General comments on CBER decisionComments Off on BIFA Director General comments on CBER decision
Responding to the news that the European Commission has decided not to extend the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER), Steve Parker Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) has issued the below comment.
“The sensible conclusion to the ongoing container market public consultation being conducted by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) would be to introduce an ombudsman to arbitrate on complaints as a minimum. Ideally, it would follow the EC’s lead and not retain the equivalent of a block exemption regime for the liner shipping industry in the UK, when the current one expires in April 2024.”
When the CMA announced the review in January this year, BIFA expressed its surprise that the CMA appeared to issue a provisional position which suggested the extension of a potentially modified CBER into UK legislation.
In the recent past, the UK’s main trade association for freight forwarding and logistics companies has said that its members are extremely concerned that practices undertaken by container shipping lines, as well as easements and exemptions provided to them, have been distorting the operations of the free market to the detriment of international trade.
Parker adds: “BIFA, and its members, are not anti-shipping line. The association wants to ensure that there is a suitable balance between them as carriers, and our members as customers, points made during various meetings with the CMA.
“The EC has taken a sensible decision, and the UK government should follow suit to ensure that shipping lines in future will be subject to competition law.”