EXPORTERS are preparing to gauge the impact of the termination of agreements involving shipping lines servicing Australia.
In a statement this week, the Australian Peak Shippers Association said it had received “formal advice” from Shipping Australia that the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the Trade Facilitation Group (TFG) agreements had been terminated effective from February 1.
“TFA member lines have provided key services for Australian exporters to North and East Asia for many years and, similarly, the TFG to South East Asia,” APSA stated.
“For various reasons membership of both groups has been declining for some time.”
The terminations are understood to follow recent resignations, including by Hamburg Süd (after its takeover by Maersk Line).
In a statement to members, APSA said it received advice from SAL the termination of the agreements should “not impact current services”.
Comment has been sought from Shipping Australia.
According to APSA, without discussion agreements, former parties to the agreement are expected to be operating individually and be subject to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010’s cartel conduct prohibitions.
Shipping lines representatives, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the agreements had been, in practical terms, dormant for some time.
Exporters contacted by DCN also declined to speak on the record, albeit some expressed confidence that they would be able to find shipping services to meet their needs.