Welcome news on UK container shipping rules

Date Added: 20 November 2023

Welcome news on UK container shipping rules

With a comprehensive network of international container shipping services, including LCL and FCL import and export operations, Davies Turner welcomes the news that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is recommending, provisionally, that the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) should lapse when it expires on 25 April 2024.

The decision follows October’s news that the European Commission would not extend the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) and, if it becomes a final decision, will be a sensible conclusion to the ongoing container market public consultation that has been conducted by the CMA since the start of this year.

When the CMA announced the review in January this year, freight forwarders expressed surprise that the authority appeared to issue a provisional position which suggested the extension of a potentially modified CBER into UK legislation.

So, we are pleased that the CMA has effectively reversed that decision and reached the same conclusion as the European Commission.

However, we note that this is a two stage review, and the CMA is looking for further feedback by December 15th on this provisional recommendation, before it presents its final decision to the Secretary of State for Business and Trade.

The CMA’s provisional recommendation suggests that whilst this regulatory change, if implemented, will not end shipping line consortia and alliances, it will allow greater and ongoing scrutiny of such arrangements; and ensure that the lines will be subject fully to competition law.

For more information about Davies Turner’s ocean freight forwarding and logistics services, please contact ocean@daviesturner.co.uk or visit the relevant pages of this website.

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