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16 December 2018 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 06:47 GMT+1



November 23, 2018

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Original news
The reductions in price are not aids of State that the Harbour Authority of Antwerp had come to an agreement to two terminal operator

The reduction of the indemnifications for the lacked respect the limits minimums of traffic volume has happened in the context of the economic crisis

After two years from the start of investigations, today the EU commission has announced that the reductions in price granted from the Harbour Authority of Antwerp do not constitute aids of State on sums that seemed had to be entirely poured to the agency from terminaliste societies PSA Antwerp and Antwerp Gateway(on 15 January 2016).

Draft of payments of sums tied to traffic volumes minimums that would have had to be enlivened from the terminals managed from the two companies and agreed within contracts of concession of the which signed duration 42-year-old in 2004, analogous agreements to those undersigneds from the Belgian harbour agency with other terminals operator of Antwerp. Levels minimums that in period 2009-2012 are not respected by PSA Antwerp and Antwerp Gateway that, on the base of concession contracts, would have had therefore to pour indemnifications to the Harbour Authority. This last one but in 2013 had modified with retroactive value the levels minimums of traffic with the effect to reduce almost 80% the value of the indemnifications which had from the two terminaliste societies.

The EU commission has announced that the investigation has carried to find that, in the context of the economic crisis, some adaptations of the levels minimums of enlivened containerized trade could be justified since the volumes of traffics of the goods, included the containerized traffics, are diminished in all the main European ports, included the port of Antwerp, and that, for the same reason, the Harbour Authority of the Belgian port of call have adapted also to the levels minimums of traffic for the other active terminals operator in the port.

Moreover the investigation has evidenced that PSA Antwerp and Antwerp Gateway found in a situation much specific respect to other operating presents in the port of Antwerp as they are concessionary of a new harbour area - the Deurganck Dock - and were both anchor in the phase of start of the activity when the economic crisis is begun, placing them in a position still more difficult in the context of the crisis, circumstance that - according to Brussels - justifies an adaptation of the levels minimums of traffic to which they were subject.

Moreover the EU commission has found that both the societies are the main customers of the port of Antwerp and that the Harbour Authority was worried by the fact that the obligation to pour the entire one to pile of the indemnifications would have had an impact negative on their economic situation and compromise their relations with the port.

At last the investigation has concluded that the entity of the reduction of the minimal level of traffic of the container and the method used from the Harbour Authority of Antwerp in order to determine such adaptations in favor of the two concessionaires turns out online with those which a private one would have adopted within a market economy.

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