New Delhi: The Indian shipping industry has been spared an irritating bureaucratic procedure, with the Indian government exempting vessel sharing agreements (VSAs) among shipping companies from the ambit of the unfair trade practices watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) for one more year.
VSAs allow entities to share space in each other’s vessels, and form a common practice in the shipping industry. The authorities, after finding that such agreements are unlikely to hurt competition, declared that shipping companies would not be required to seek the watchdog’s nod before implementing such pacts.
The exemption is subject to certain conditions, e.g. these agreements should not include practices involving fixing prices, limitation of capacity or sales and the allocation of markets or customers. These aspects, with respect to VSAs, are to be monitored by the Shipping ministry.
A one-year exemption, which had earlier been provided by the government, expired in December 2014. That exemption was applicable for carriers of all nationalities operating ships from any Indian port.