EU Investigates Unfair Trade Practices

Monday, December 04, 2000
The European Union is to investigate alleged unfair trade practices by South Korean shipbuilders, a move that could lead to a World Trade Organization (WTO) case, Reuters reported. The move follows a complaint in October by the European shipbuilding industry that accused South Korea of subsidizing its shipyards to unfairly undercut the market. "We have looked carefully at the complaint of our industry and believe there are clear grounds for us to launch this investigation," European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said. "We are treating the concerns of EU shipbuilders with the utmost seriousness. If necessary we will take this all the way to the WTO," he said. The Commission -- the EU's executive branch -- will launch a five-month investigation under its Trade Barriers Regulation. If it concludes South Korea has engaged in questionable trade practices, it could then launch a WTO case. European shipyards say the Koreans are producing ships at prices that do not cover the cost of making them, resulting in a sharp increase in South Korea's share of the world market. They say South Korea's share of the container ship market increased to 64.8 percent in 1999 from just 23.9 percent in 1997. The South Korean government has flatly rejected the allegation it has unfairly funded its shipyards. "The recent increase in South Korea's order receipts was attributed to our competitive advantage from improved production and the weakening won," the country's Ministry of Commerce Industry and Energy said. The Korean Shipbuilders' Association (KSA) said it regretted the Commission's decision to launch a probe, and denied the existence of illegal subsidies. "South Korea is being blamed for the lack of performance and inefficiencies of some European yards by special interests pursuing the continuation of subsidies for EU shipbuilders," the KSA said. In the past Korean shipbuilders have said Korea could launch counter-actions at the WTO against European subsidies if the EU goes ahead with such action against South Korea. Last week the Commission announced EU governments would have to stop paying operating aid to their shipyards from the start of next year, but said that such payments might be allowed to resume if it finds South Korea is unfairly propping up its industry. EU shipbuilders want to be allowed to continue receiving state aid while the South Korean probe is under way. The Commission said it would inform EU governments of the findings of its inquiry by next April.

Shipbuilding

MV WERFTEN, Foreship Sign Design Agreements

MV WERFTEN signed a letter of intent with the engineering company Foreship in Stralsund today. The agreement includes parts of the basic design as well as design,

Zumaia Offshore Acqires MPP Workboat Aitana B

In April 2016 Zumaia Offshore, S.L., leading workboat owner and operator based in the Basque Country, took delivery of the Cummins-powered MPP workboat “Aitana

How Rapid is the Fleet Growth?

During July 2016, the containership fleet reached a landmark 20 million TEU in terms of aggregate capacity, says Clarksons Research.   To many it only seems

Environmental

NParks, Keppel in S$2.08 mln Partnership for Restoring Singapore Forest Wetlands

The National Parks Board (NParks) and Keppel Corporation today unveiled plans for a partnership to restore the freshwater forest wetland ecosystem historically

C-Job Designs Flettner Freighter for Switijnk

The Dutch shipping company family Switijnk has contracted C-Job Naval Architects to develop a Rotor Sail-equipped design to meet their specific loading and sailing profile.

Vitol's Malaysia Terminal Suspends Ops after Spill

VTTI, the storage unit of world's largest oil trader Vitol, has suspended operations at its terminal in southern Malaysia following an oil spill, two industry sources said on Friday.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0800 sec (13 req/sec)