The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) is seeking public feedback on the extension of the Competition (Block Exemption for Liner Shipping Agreements) Order (BEO) in its current form, for another five years until the end of 2020.
The BEO, first issued in July 2006, exempts a category of liner shipping agreements from prohibitions against anti-competitive agreements in Singapore.
It was extended in 2010, and will expire at the end of this year.
Liner shipping agreements enable the connectivity of Singapore's container port with consequent broader benefits to the Singapore economy, and facilitate cost savings for the liners from economies of scale.
These economic benefits are likely to be significant enough to outweigh any anti-competitive effects of liner shipping agreements, the CCS said in a statement today.
Its proposal to recommend an extension of the BEO takes into consideration the findings of a CCS-commissioned consultancy study, which was based on both quantitative and qualitative information provided by industry stakeholders, as well as feedback from key industry stakeholders.
The CCS said it has considered all views carefully before arriving at the proposed recommendation, adding that it has been monitoring developments in the industry and regulatory developments overseas.
The public consultation seeks views on the possible impact of the proposal on the Singapore economy, in particular on players in the maritime industry such as shippers, port operators, liners, and logistics service providers.
The CCS will make a recommendation to the Minister for Trade and Industry after it has considered written submissions received during the public consultation.
The consultation document and a copy of the current BEO can be downloaded from the CCS website at www.ccs.gov.sg under the section "Public Consultation". The closing date for submission is at noon on June 15.