The Asian Shippers’ Council (ASC) took steps in 2009 to strengthen its organisational capabilities by establishing a permanent secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The aim of the ASC is to represent the five geographical areas of Asia and to coordinate policies to facilitate the expansion of trade and economic growth in Asia.
A key component of this growth strategy is to influence Asian governments to enact modern competition laws to deal with the liner cartel practices in the Asia area which inhibits growth. With the support of GSF, the ASC has substantially raised its profile in Asia, for example representing the ASC/GSF at the APEC workshop on non-rate making agreements in Tokyo in October 2011 and in providing a comprehensive response to the review of the Singapore Liner Conference Exemption Act in October 2010.
As the international organisation representing the interests of shippers’ organisations in 50 countries world-wide, the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) welcomes the opportunity of commenting on New Zealand Productivity Commission International Freight Transport Services Draft Report dated January 2012. This report makes supplementary comments to its submission to the Commission on 8 September 2011. Read the draft report (PDF)
During 2009/10 the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group commissioned consultants to undertake an analysis of non-rate making agreements in liner shipping and to develop recommended guidelines for the treatment of such agreements by economies in the Asia Pacific area.
GSF was formally invited to submit comments on the guidelines and participate in the APEC workshop on the guidelines held in Tokyo on 12 October 2010. Read GSF's response to the APEC study
The guidelines were reviewed at the APEC Transportation Working Group meeting held in Brisbane, Australia on 13-17 June 2011.
The Block Exemption Order (BEO) 2006, which exempts liner shipping agreements, was reviewed in 2009/10 by the Competition Commission Singapore (CCS). On 16 December 2010, the CCS announced the extension of the BEO for a further 5 years to 31 December 2015. The CCS commissioned a review of the BEO to be undertaken by Ben Hackett Associates. To date, it has refused to release the findings of the Hackett report which is widely believed to have recommended the repeal of the exemption order.
The CCS extension of the BEO exemption contained a number of conditions, including the provision of individual confidential contracts and market share limits.
GSF, SNSC and ASC submitted detailed comments on the reviews which called for the repeal of the block exemption.