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Competition Policy

Consultation on the proposed prolongation of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation

Policy field

Competition: Antitrust, maritime sector


Target group

Public authorities, citizens, companies and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from the carriers, their clients (shippers and freight forwarders), terminal/port operators, and their respective associations. Other interested parties whose input would be of particular value include industry analysts, academics, and law firms specialising in competition law and the maritime sector.


Period of consultation

From 20.11.2019 to 03.01.2020

The period of consultation is in line with Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 246/2009 of 26 February 2009, i.e. the enabling regulation for the Consortia BER.


Objective of the consultation

The European Commission invites all interested parties to comment on a proposal to prolong the existing block exemption of liner shipping consortia (i.e. the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation, “Consortia BER”) from the application of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Commission Regulation No 906/2009). The existing block exemption will expire on 25 April 2020. The Commission considers to prolong it by another four years.

The initiative is built on the findings of the evaluation of the Consortia BER, conducted in Q4 2018 – Q3 2019. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess whether the Consortia BER was effective, efficient, coherent with other competition policy measures, relevant, and creating EU added value. The Commission’s services collected data from the general public, numerous stakeholders (carriers, shippers, logistic companies, freight-forwarding companies, port authorities, port service providers, etc.), and National Competition Authorities of the EU by sending public as well as targeted questionnaires. Furthermore, data was also collected from other international organisations such as the OECD International Transport Forum and UNCTAD. The results of the evaluation are presented in the Staff Working Document published here.

Overall, the evaluation indicates that the market conditions of the liner-shipping sector still appear to necessitate the existence of a sector-specific BER. Therefore, it is proposed that the Consortia BER application period should be prolonged.



In parallel to this public consultation, the Commission carries out a public consultation on the roadmap for the prolongation of the Consortia BER. The later consultation is published here.

Since both consultations relate to the same initiative, i.e. the prolongation of the Consortia BER, all interested parties are invited to submit their comments on both consultations (or one of them), using the online form for the consultation on the roadmap – available here.


View the consultation document

Draft Regulation prolonging Consortia BER
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Replies to the public consultation

21 contributions submitted with an online questionnaire

Contributions submitted with emails:


Regulation adopted following the public consultation


Contact details

Responsible services:
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit F.1 – Antitrust: Transport, Post and other services
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: HT. 5252

E-mail address:
COMP-CONSORTIA-EVALUATION-2018@ec [dot] europa [dot] euatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (subject: HT-5252) (COMP-CONSORTIA-EVALUATION-2018[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
1049 Brussels