The Nineteenth Annual EMLO Conference
took place on Friday 25 October 2013 at Lincolns Inn, London.
A copy of the Programme and the conference papers can be found in the Conferences section of the website (see the bar above). Here is a selection of the articles printed as a result of a very successful day of presentations and debate.
Lloyd's List (1), Lloyd's List (2), Lloyd's List (3), Tradewinds
Hot off the Press!
European Commission Press Release - Brussells, 22 November 2013
Antitrust: Commission opens proceedings against container liner shipping companies
The European Commission has opened formal antitrust proceedings against several
container liner shipping companies to investigate whether they engaged in concerted
practices, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Container liner shipping is the transport of
containers by ship at a fixed time schedule on a specific route between a range of ports at
one end (e.g. Shanghai - Hong Kong - Singapore) and another range of ports at the other
end (e.g., Rotterdam – Hamburg - Southampton). Opening of proceedings does not
prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
Since 2009, these companies have been making regular public announcements of price
increase intentions through press releases on their websites and in the specialised trade
press. These announcements are made several times a year and contain the amount of
increase and the date of implementation, which is generally similar for all announcing
companies. The announcements are usually made by the companies successively a few
weeks before the announced implementation date.
The Commission has concerns that this practice may allow the companies to signal future
price intentions to each other and may harm competition and customers by raising prices
on the market for container liner shipping transport services on routes to and from
Europe. The Commission will now investigate whether this behaviour amounts to a
concerted practice in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union (TFEU) and of Article 53 of the European Economic Area (EEA)
Article 101 TFEU prohibits anticompetitive agreements and concerted practices.
Article 11(6) of the Antitrust Regulation provides that the initiation of proceedings by the
Commission relieves the competition authorities of the Member States of their competence
to also apply EU competition rules to the practices concerned. Article 16(1) further
provides that national courts must avoid giving decisions, which would conflict with a
decision contemplated by the Commission in proceedings that it has initiated.
The Commission has informed the container liner shipping companies concerned and the
competition authorities of the Member States that it has opened proceedings in this case.
There is no legal deadline for bringing an antitrust investigation to an end. The duration of
an investigation depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, the
cooperation of the undertakings with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of
More information on the investigation will be available on the Commission's competition
website, in the public case register under the case number 39850.
Contacts : Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13, Twitter: @ECspokesAntoine )
Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)
SANCTIONS AND LIFE AFTER THE MARITIME GUIDELINES
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Joint EMLO/Turkish Maritime Association Spring Conference
The Global impact of EU Shipping Law and Policy
3 May 2013
At Ozyegin University, – 09.30 -15.00
Keynote speech by Mr Fotos Karamitsos - Director of DG MOVE, European Commission
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EMLO has a new Chairman. After seven years under the excellent leadership of Sir Francis Jacobs we are proud to announce that the role of Chairman will now be filled by The Rt Hon. The Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers KG PC, who was until recently the first President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The handover took place at the Eighteenth Annual Conference where the delegates were delighted to meet Lord Phillips, but very sad to be saying goodbye to Sir Francis Jacobs.
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On 4 May 2012 DG Competition announced a consultation on the future of the Maritime Antitrust Guidelines with a closing date of 27 July. The DG COMP website includes a Staff Working Document outlining a proposal to move from a sector-specific to a general framework and withdraw the current guidelines altogether.
EMLO, together with the Baltic Exchange, will be holding a roudtable debate on 19 June 2012 to discuss the implications of such a move. Areas affected include market definition and effect on trade in shipping cases, exchanges of information in the liner sector and pool agreements in tramp shipping.
The "European Maritime Law Organisation" (EMLO) was established to provide a neutral and independent forum for debate and research on issues of interest to those concerned with EU maritime affairs.
We are an independent body and hold conferences and seminars on all aspects of EU maritime law, ranging from competition and trade to safety and the environment.
EMLO has been at the forefront of developments in EU maritime policy as that policy has evolved over the past two decades. Founded in 1991 shortly after the first proceedings (against the Far Eastern Freight Conference) had commenced, EMLO had an inaugural conference in London in October of that year. The keynote speech was delivered by Helmut Kreis. That set the scene for subsequent Annual Conferences which have attracted leading speakers from the European Commission and engendered plenty of lively debate.
EMLO is THE place where the latest legal trends and developments in EU maritime competition law and general maritime law are reported, analysed and critically debated and is widely attended by the foremost EU maritime practitioners and compliance officers from owners, forwarders and shippers and the relevant trade associations.
EMLO has been fortunate in having had strong support from both DG Competition and DG TREN over the years and many major policy announcements by the Commission have been made at EMLO Conferences. The Fourteenth Annual Conference which took place in Copenhagen in October 2008 and drew a capacity audience of 110 delegates and speakers, with a keynote speech by Olivier Guersent who had only recently taken over as acting Director of the Transport Service Directorate in DG Competition.
Mr Guersent gave an overview of the new maritime competition regime resulting from the abolition of Council Regulation 4056/86. Competition law has traditionally been the main focus of the conferences but EMLO has not neglected other policy areas such as developments in the field of maritime safety and the environment, and specialised sectors such as ports, P&I clubs and state aid. Future conferences and events will continue in this tradition.
Most of the EMLO Annual Conferences have taken place in London or Brussels but this has not prevented EMLO from having successful conferences in Rotterdam, Genoa and Valletta (jointly with the Malta Maritime Law Association) and, most recently, Dublin.
When in 1994 the European Commission presented its draft block
exemption covering liner consortia, EMLO held a special seminar at the Europe Institute in Leiden to discuss the proposals and submitted comments that proved to be quite influential on the wording of the regulation that was finally adopted.
To coincide with the enlargement of the European Union in 2004 EMLO decided to promote smaller scale seminars in the new Member States and has therefore since met has met in Limassol and Gdynia.
Members can attend both a Spring Seminar between March and May (dates vary) and the Annual Conference (generally on the Friday of the third week of October, with a dinner the night before).
EMLO is a membership organisation that depends primarily on the continued support of its members, who receive discounts on attendance fees and various other benefits. If you are not already a member we would appreciate your support: please apply online via the Registration page on this site.
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