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Chairman Lidinsky Concludes European Consultations and Maritime Law Conference

November 7, 2011

NR 11-20

Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. returned last week from a series of consultations with maritime and competition regulatory counterparts in Brussels and London, and an address to the 17th Annual Conference of the European Maritime Law Organisation.

In Brussels, Chairman Lidinsky conferred with senior European Union maritime competition officials on a range of issues, including the FMC’s study of the impact of the European Union’s three-year-old repeal of its block exemption from competition laws for liner shipping. The FMC plans to release its study in December.

Penning and Chairman 10 2011
U.K. Under-Secretary of State for Transport Mike Penning and FMC Chairman Lidinsky, London, October 2011

In London, Chairman Lidinsky met with the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning. Under-Secretary Penning and Chairman Lidinsky discussed several maritime topics and agreed to a schedule of regular consultations on matters of mutual interest and concern.

Finally, Chairman Lidinsky addressed the 17th Annual Conference of the European Maritime Law Organisation (EMLO) in London. The theme of this year’s conference was European competition law and transport policy. Chairman Lidinsky was a charter member of EMLO when it was founded in 1991 to bring together government officials from Europe and the United States, along with leading maritime regulatory attorneys, and industry representatives, to focus on key issues facing international waterborne commerce.

In his remarks, Chairman Lidinsky reviewed the Commission’s activities during its 50th anniversary year. He also provided an update on the FMC’s study of the European Union’s repeal of its block exemption from competition laws for liner shipping, and on the FMC’s recently launched Notice of Inquiry into disparities between ports in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that may be driving U.S.-bound cargo to competing ports in Canada or Mexico. A lively exchange with conference participants followed on the Commission’s current and future regulatory direction and the global maritime impact of its actions.

The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.