Reacting to the decision by the European Commission to extend the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) by another four years, the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) has made the following statement:
After conducting an intensive and well-evidenced campaign against the CBER, GSF is disappointed and frustrated by this decision. But GSF also recognises the pressing need for global supply chains to be kept functioning under the current extreme conditions created by the COVID-19 virus. With the current block exemption expiring on 25th April, this decision will provide the needed continuity for shipping consortia to operate in the short-term.
However, the Commission’s decision to extend CBER for a full four years without any new conditions is a surprise, in the circumstances. The decision fails to acknowledge or take any account of the powerful case made by shippers and other groups that challenged the Commission’s reasoning for prolonging the CBER. It seems users’ views and needs have been utterly ignored and not considered in reaching this decision. In time, GSF will expect and demand an explanation of its actions from the Commission.
GSF Secretary General, James Hookham, said
: “With global shippers focussed on keeping the world trading as best they can, the unqualified extension of the CBER until 2024 will be a surprise. But now is not the time to challenge this. Everyone in the global supply chain has a bigger job to do in getting the world through the current extraordinary conditions. However, GSF gives notice it considers this is as ‘unfinished business’ and it will be revisited once the industry recovers”.