The Antimonopoly Committee recommends USPA to stop imposing the access to berth specialized service to port operators

September 24, 2020 · News

The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) on September 24 officially recommended the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority (USPA) to abstain from creating obstacles for port operators in accessing to berths based on easement agreements.

At the time many port operators have access to berths based on valid easement agreements. The documents are fully compliant with current legislation, therefore there are no reasons for their cancellation.

But despite this fact USPA declines the easement payments and insists on signing the specialized service agreements for further access to berths. Moreover, the state enterprise tries to charge fees for this service. Such actions go in line with pressure on port operators through not accepting vessels for cargo operations at seaports.

Legrant’s lawyers sent the claim to the Antimonopoly Committee representing interests of seven port operators and asked the authority to analyse USPA’s actions and requested for the legal evaluation of these actions. After a comprehensive analysis the Committee concluded that USPA’s actions are considered as a breach of antitrust legislation on the access to berth market and approved the relevant recommendations for USPA.

In the meantime, the court dispute on the same issue was going on. The Supreme Court of Ukraine put an end to it at the beginning of September and confirmed the USPA’s requirements had no reason.

“The Antimonopoly Committee confirmed again the legitimacy of the business position, and also once again showed that the abuse of a monopoly position cannot last forever. The duty of a state-owned enterprise to fill the budget is not a reason for violating the law and the principles of fair competition”, Tatyana Titarenko, the Managing Partner at Legrant comments.