Adv. Shlomi Loya addressed an urgent letter to the Antitrust Commissioner Ronit Ken, requesting the antitrust commission to carry out an in - depth investigation
Following complaints raised by local importers and exporters, concerning the dramatic increase in Terminal Handling Charges (THC), announced in recent months by shipping companies, the legal adviser of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce,(FICC) adv. Shlomi Loya, addressed an urgent letter to the Antitrust Commissioner Ronit Ken, requesting the antitrust commission to carry out an in - depth investigation.
Adv. Loya noted in his letter that on basis of the numerous complaints received by the FICC there is a strong suspicion that the shipping companies involved have adopted restrictive trade practice, thus preventing or restricting competition in the maritimesector.
Adv. Loya noted that several shipping companies had announced the THC increase at approximately the same time or in close proximity to each other.
Adv. Loya emphasized that that not only the timing was similar but also that the increases were to a certain degree identical. Adv. Loya argued that the shipping sector would probably come up with an explanation that the THC increase was a direct result of the proposed port tariff reform which is being discussed by the government and which, according to the Chamber of Shipping, would leave the shipping sector no alternative but to increase charges.
Adv. Loya dismisses such argument noting that the THC increase was announced long before the port reform tariff was finalized or announced.
He also questioned the reason that all the shipping companies involved elected to introduce an increase in a single surcharge - THC - and not in any other surcharge or in the net freight rate.