Beijing Discovers Anti-Trust Violations at Several Ports

A two-month investigation launched in April this year by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has found various anti-trust violations at the country’s seaports.

As a result, Shanghai, Tianjin Port, Ningbo Zhoushan and Qingdao port groups have been ordered to cut the container handling fees as of 2018 ranging between 10-20 percent.

NRDC said that Tangshan, Huanghua, Weihai, Rizha and Lianyungang ports were among the 39 ports told to rectify the irregularities, which also included monopolizing tally and agent markets, the imposition of compulsory de-vanning and tally services and charging of excessive cargo handling fees for export cargo.

In addition, the investigation found that shipping companies were denied the right to choose their towage provider thus breaching the free competition between towage companies in the ports.

The said practices hinder the development of the ports, increase the costs of the real economy and restrict market competition, NRDC explained.

The commission added that it plans to monitor and verify the implementation of self-rectification measures proposed by the ports in the upcoming period to make sure the said violations are eradicated. 

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