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Across the Strait Shippers Alliance 3rd AGM

Dalian, China on 31st July 2007

Attendants:

China Shippers Association
Hong Kong Shippers Council
Taiwan Shippers Association
Macau Shippers Association
Guangdong Shippers Association
Shenzhen Shippers Association
Liaoning Shippers Association
Shanghai Shippers Association
Jiangsu Shippers Assoication
Xiamen Shippers Association
China Chamber of Commerce for Light Industrial Product & Arts and Crafts Importer and Exporters
China Chamber of Commerce for Foodstuffs & and Animal By-products Importers and Exporters

The meeting stressed the following:

  • Firmly support MOC’s opinion on handling the issue of increasing THC level in south China by 4 liner agreements;
  • Seriously implement MOC’s Decree No. 10 NOTICE ON STRENGTHENING SUPERVISION ON LINER CONFERENCES AND FREIGHT DISCUSSION AGREEMENTS; Push the liner agreements to establish consultation mechanism with shippers and carry out consultations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Promote the healthy and orderly development of shipping market.
  • Push the liner agreements to implement seriously the principals of “THC is part of the freight in container liner transportation” stipulated in the THC Investigation Conclusion” issued by MOC & other government departments concerned; And implement the freight filing regulation of “freight should be filed with according to CY-CY term in container liner transport” in accordance with ”the container liner freight filing system” issued by MOC in 1996. All delegates called for immediate elimination of THC and other unreasonable surcharges and “All-in-freight” system in container liner transport should be adopted.
  • Monopoly is the main cause of collecting unreasonable charges by liners. All delegates firmly support European Shippers Association, US Industrial Transportation League and Asian Shippers Council’s request for cancellation of antitrust immunity enjoyed by the liner conference and agreements. And hope the antitrust law in China will come out soon.

Informal Discussion between Shippers associations of Greater China & Liner Agreements (Aug. 1, 2007)

Taking this opportunity, China Shippers Association invited the representatives of the liner conferences or agreements:

FEFC
AWCSAFC
TSA
WTSA
CTSA
CWTSA
IRA
IADA
AADA
NANZDA

to come to Dalian on Aug 1, 2007 to have informal discussion on a number of issues and on implementing the Decree No. 10 of MOC (Ministry of Communication) ‘Notice on Strengthening Supervision over Liner conference and Discussion Agreements’.

Vice President Cai Jiaxiang expressed his opinions on behalf of the shippers as follows:

  • The meeting is to discuss how to implement MOC’s Decree: NOTICE ON STRENGTHENING SUPERVISION ON LINER CONFERENCES AND FREIGHT DISCUSSION AGREEMENTS; THC INVESTIGATION CCONLUSION. MOC and other Chinese Government departments show great concern for the rectification of international shipping order and have done a lot for this purpose. We should implement seriously the present rules and regulation set by MOC and stick to the international normal practice.
  • The rapid development of China’s foreign economic & trade brought fruitful results to the carriers. While the shippers are suffering as result of the rapid increase of freight rates and other surcharges, and shippers burden become heavier and heavier with the longer list of surcharges.
  • Present Problems: Some of the liner conferences or discussion agreements make decision in advance to raise freight rates or collect surcharges and file with the MOC without prior consultation with the shippers, then ask the shippers for opinion within a very short time(only a few days). This is not a consultation, this is only a notice. It is not in compliance with MOC’s Decree No. 10. We propose consultations should be held at least two or three months ahead before decision is made.
  • CSA proposes that meaningful consultations should be held in advance on any increase of freight rates or temporary surcharges before filing with MOC. Carriers should provide full reasons or evidences for increasing rates or other surcharges.
  • The scope for consultation should be confined to freight rates or temporary surcharges (such as: bunker, port congestion, war, etc.); THC, ORC, Peak season, currency adjustment, documentations and other fees are parts of the freight. All-in-freight is the basic principal in international liner transport.
  • Carriers should do business according to certain game rules. We do want to see the abnormal competition among carriers. The normal practice of CY-CY term in container liner transport should be used.
  • Freight rates should be kept stable at least 6 months because trade contracts are made up to a period of half a year to one year.
  • Temporary surcharges should be abolished when situation turns well.
  • Carriers and shippers are brothers, shippers demand a fair and a just deal.
  • We hope carriers and shippers could develop relationship on win-win basis.Liner organizations expressed that it’s a good beginning for future consultation between carriers and shippers. They hope both sides should keep frequent contacts so as to exchange of information on shipping and trade markets and strengthen cooperation in the future.

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