NZ get Container shipping rules right
Posted: 03-Mar-2020 |

In an article run in ATN about Australian container shipping rules "Our New Zealand neighbours seem to have got it right," says Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) director Paul Zalai.

The article explains that: 'With coronavirus roiling the nation's supply chains and therefore way of life, another international issue with similar intrusions is being examined – container shipping regulation.'

Specifically, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC's) probe of Part X of the Consumer and Competition Act 2010 has seen it release in December the Proposed Class Exemption for Ocean Liner Shipping discussion paper and seek submissions. And local trade and shipper bodies are calling for the exemption to end.

Aimed to trade off competition for efficiency and reliability, Part X has been a part of the regulatory landscape for half a century. The ACCC seeks views on which aspects of Part X are in the public interest and could be included in a class exemption.

Trucking industry representatives lay much of the blame for unregulated and unrestrained container access charges on stevedores being forced to create landside revenue streams, thereby boosting cost of living and trade pressures as the charges on exports and imports are passed on.

Trade bodies note that the experience in the European Union has been detrimental to shippers with trade bodies recently aggressively arguing against another four year extension of the liberal Consortia Block Exemption Regulation largely exempting lines of regular competition laws.

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) secretariat – part of one of two alliances with trucking interests opposed to access charges – argues Australia should follow New Zealand's lead.

"In contrast, our New Zealand neighbours seem to have got it right," director Paul Zalai says.
"While accepting the need for shipping line consortia arrangements, the New Zealand competition authorities have introduced new statutory provisions adding rigour to their block exemption regime requiring evidence of benefits to shippers."

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