EuropePorts and Logistics

EC investigates Antwerp port over state aid claims

The European Commission is investigating alleged state aid to two container terminal operators at the port of Antwerp, it was announced on Friday.

Concession agreements for PSA Antwerp and Antwerp Gateway contained a requirement for the handling of a minimum tonnage. The two did not reach this between 2009 and 2012, meaning they should have paid compensation to the publicly-owned port authority.

However, the Antwerp Port Authority decided in 2013 to reduce the minimum tonnage retroactively, reducing the compensation to be paid by some 80%, according to po.

Having received a complaint from a competing port the commission decided to open an investigation looking at whether the move by Antwerp port represents state aid. Competition among North European container ports is among the most fierce in the world.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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