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Mofcom prohibits P3 Alliance

On 17 June 2014 the Chinese competition authority, Mofcom, published its decision to prohibit the container shipping carriers alliance between Maersk Line, MSC Mediterranean Shipping and CMA CGM (‘P3’). It is important to note that Mofcom’s decision is not subject to any judicial review. The alliance would have involved a long term vessel sharing agreement for a minimum of ten years to create a joint fleet of 255 ships, with the aim of providing a more efficient service. According to Mofcom the agreement would result in a de facto merger and seriously affect Chinese domestic market by weakening the bargaining position of Chinese exporters and reducing the competitive strength of Chinese ports which would probably be forced to reduce their service charges; the size of the shipping companies involved also probably played a role in the decision. Mofcom’s decision came as a surprise, in view of the fact that the alliance had already received approval (although qualified) by the EU and US competition authorities. The decision has also caused concern in the industry about the lack of certainty arising from differing national competition rules.
[In cooperation with Helen Elmer, trainee, London]

Maritime transport

By a judgment issued on 27th March 2014 the European Court of Justice held that a maritime transport service consisting of a cruise which starts and ends, with the same passengers, in the same port of the Member State falls within the definition of ‘maritime cabotage’ under the Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 of 7 December 1992, with reservation of the cabotage services ‘to Community shipowners who have their ships registered in, and flying the flag of, a Member State of the European Union’.

EU law principles

By judgment dated 25.02.2014, the European Court of Justice confirmed the right of every person to be heard before a detrimental measure is issued against them. The compulsory and preliminary right of controverting, set forth by Case Sopropé, has been recognized as an EU law principle and therefore its application can be directly invoked by the taxpayer to the national judges.
The right of controverting is not only about the right to state the taxpayer’s point of view about the sanctions issued by the authority, but it also refers to the right be heard and to raise objections before the final decision is adopted (C-29/13 and 30/13, Global Trans Lodzhistik OOD vs Nachalnik na Mitnitsa Stolichna).

Ship recycling

On 10th December 2013 the Regulation UE no. 1257/2013 on ship recycling was published on the Official Journal of the European Union.

The purpose of the Regulation is to enhance safety, protection of human health and of the Union’s marine environment through an environmentally sound management of hazardous or toxic waste originated by the ship recycling process.

Jurisdiction on international sale of goods

By a judgment issued on 16 January 2014, the Tribunal of Mantova declared the lack of jurisdiction of the Italian Courts holding that in the absence of an agreement between the parties (necessary requirement according to EC Regulation 44/2001), the place of delivery of the goods must be intended as the place where the goods are in fact to be delivered to the buyer, notwithstanding the “CPT (Carriage Paid To)” clause.

Piracy at Sea

On 19th October 2013 the General Director of Police issued a circular to implement the provisions of the Ministerial Decree No 266 dated 28.12.2012 (published on the Official Gazette No 75 dated 29.3.2013), concerning the use of private security guards onboard Italian merchant ships which sail in international waters at risk of piracy. This is Italy’s latest step to fight piracy at sea. Further information can be found in articles written by

Labour Law

By Law No 113 dated 23rd September 2013, Italy ratified the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006), also known as the new “bill of rights” for maritime workers, adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 23rd February 2006.

“FRSU Toscana” regasification Terminal

The “FRSU Toscana” regasification Terminal has arrived in front of Livorno (Tuscany – Italy), where installation and test operations are currently being carried out. The regasification Terminal has been realized transforming a LNG carrier, the m/y “Golf Frost”. Studio Legale Mordiglia assisted the contractor OLT Offshore S.p.A., a company of which the Italian group Iren is one of the shareholders, in several critical aspects of the project, that is undoubtedly one of the most important national projects in the Italian gas and energy industry.

Membership

Since 2013 Studio Legale Mordiglia is a member of ASLA – Associazione Studi Legali Associati. ASLA brings together some of the most important legal firms in Italy organized in partnership association or limited liability partnership. ASLA promotes new professional organization forms, takes an active part in researching, organizes training and updating courses for lawyers and trainee and offers scholarships to the worthiest. For any further information refer to ASLA website.