Russian FAS create common guidance for operation on local shipping market

FAS Container shippingThe Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of the Russian Federation in cooperation with market participants will formulate common principles of behavior in the shipping market. The Russian authorities will prepare guidance for behavior of the carriers operating on the local market. The decision was taken after the recent lawcases against the major shipping companies, which were accused and then found guilty for violating the law on protection of competition. Later the carriers reached out-court settlement, but local authorities agreed with carriers not to disclose publicly the Russian Federation port tariffs.

“Currently, the Federal Antimonopoly Service in cooperation with market participants is preparing guidance defining the common rules and principles of behavior on sea liner shipping market”, said the Federal Antimonopoly Service in official statement.

In 2013, Russian FAS initiated a case against AP Moller-Maersk AS (Denmark), CMA CGM SA (France), Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd (South Korea), Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (Hong Kong), Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan) for violating the law on protection of competition. Companies have committed illegal concerted actions that led to the establishment of allowances for freight rates in the market of container transportation line, thus they violated the antimonopoly legislation of the Russian Federation.

In February 2017, the Ninth Arbitration Appeal Court approved a settlement agreement between the five container operators and the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service in the case of cartels. In particular, the settlement agreement provides for payment of Maersk a fine of 230,000 USD instead of the previously designated 12 million USD. In addition, the Line Maersk will voluntarily provide to industry forecasts for changes in tariffs.

With regard to the terms of the agreement, within the limits of his carriers cease the violation and pledged to, the implementation of which will ensure compliance with the law on protection of competition and fair conditions for consumers of container carriers.