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FMC Extends Comment Period on Proposed Alliance of Major Shipping Lines

Friday, November 22, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Maritime Commission is accepting further public comment through Nov. 29 onthe proposed P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement. This agreement would authorize the world’s three largest container ship carriers –Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company – to share vessels and engage in related cooperative activity in the trades between Asia, North Europe and the Mediterranean on one hand and the U.S. on the other hand. If the FMC takes no action to seek an injunction or to require additional information, this agreement will become effective Dec. 8.

Commissioner William Doyle said the FMC wants to hear from “stakeholders who are comfortable with the proposed alliance and those that may not be comfortable with the proposed Alliance.” The FMC is also interested in whether “stakeholders believe the P3 filing needs more clarity and/or other assurances.”

Last month the FMC urged its counterparts in the European Union and China to come to Washington, D.C., for a summit to discuss the proposed agreement, but the Commission has not disclosed whether that meeting will take place. FMC officials have raised concerns about the proposed alliance, including its effect on services provided to consumers, shippers and U.S. terminal operators.

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