The European Commission announced its decision on 19 February 2013 not to extend the application of the guidelines on the application of Article 101 TFEU to maritime transport services. The guidelines, which were adopted on 26 September 2008 and were applicable for a period of five years, will expire on 26 September 2013.
The main aim of the guidelines was to facilitate the transition from a specific to a general competition regime for maritime transport after the repeal of an exemption relating to liner conferences (i.e. agreements between liner shipping companies on prices and other conditions of carriage) in 2006. This objective has, in the European Commission’s view, now been achieved.
This decision reflects the proposal of the European Commission staff working document prepared by DG Comp – “The Future of the Commission Guidelines on the Application of Article 101 TFEU to Maritime Transport Services” – to let the Guidelines lapse upon expiry in 2013 as well as the European Commission’s declared policy to phase out sector specific guidelines concerning anti-competitive practices in the maritime transport sector.
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