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International Shipping Competition Agencies Meet

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Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Daniel B. Maffei joined his colleagues from the European Union and the People’s Republic of China for the fifth biennial meeting of the Global Regulatory Summit to discuss competition issues related to the shipping industry.

The meeting was hosted by the European Commission and held virtually on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

Three broad agenda items were discussed during the meeting.  First, sectoral developments since the start of the COVID-pandemic including an analysis of supply and demand and an identification of bottlenecks in the ocean-linked supply chain and the causes of service disruptions.  Second, actions undertaken so far by relevant jurisdictions and authorities in response and their results.  Finally, the way forward and possible actions to increase resilience and smooth operations in the sector.

The European Delegation was led by Henrik Mørch, the Director for Transport, Post, and Other Services, Directorate General for Competition.  The Chinese delegation was led by Li Tianbi, Director General of the Water Transport Bureau, Ministry of Transportation, People’s Republic of China.  Commissioners Rebecca F. Dye, Michael A. Khouri, and Carl W. Bentzel also attended the Summit on behalf of the FMC.

“The performance of ocean carriers in meeting historic demand for their services and the unusually high costs to move ocean containers are of interest and concern to regulators, legislators, and the public globally.  Today’s session of the Global Regulatory Summit provided key competition authorities responsible for the oversight of the container shipping industry the opportunity to share information about what their respective monitoring and enforcement regimes are observing in the marketplace and compare conclusions about carrier behavior.  I applaud my colleagues from the European Union for holding this meeting and providing a forum for an invaluable exchange of information,” said Chairman Maffei.

The delegations agreed to hold the next meeting of the Global Regulatory Summit in Beijing in 2023.

The first Global Regulatory Summit was held in December 2013 and hosted by the Federal Maritime Commission.  Subsequent meetings were held in Belgium in 2015, China in 2017, and the United States in 2019.

Updated 9/9/21 to amend the list of attendees.