The First EU “YES” to Shipowners’ Consortia Passes – ASSARMATORI Supports the Proposal

A favorable opinion by the Commission’s based on the results of its Evalutation to extend the BER until 2024.

The first favorable opinion of the European Commission for the extension of the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) until 2024, enabling the possibility for container transport companies, large and small, to stipulate commercial agreements between them– the so-called consortia, without being subject to the obligation of prior notification to the European Antitrust Authority. ASSARMATORI expressed satisfaction and applause with respect to what could result in a clear turnaround at the Community level.

“This measure, which does not translate, it is clear, into a general exemption from compliance with the antitrust regulations – explained the President of ASSARMATORI, Stefano Messina – is considered by the armament a fundamental tool to seize and support opportunities in real time market guaranteeing flexibility, frequency, service efficiency and cost-effectiveness. All qualities of which the user has also benefited and benefits substantially”.

A premise that ASSARMATORI has always supported, which today seems to have made inroads, precisely because of the pragmatism that inspires it, even in the group of experts appointed by the EU Commission. In their conclusions it is stated that the BER appears justified because “the consortia generally produce rationalizations and economies of scale helping to improve the productivity and quality of maritime transport services”; moreover they “promote technical and economic progress”, while “users of shipping services can obtain advantages from the productivity improvements that consortia can guarantee”.