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Parliamentary questions
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18 February 2021
Question for written answer  E-000978/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Gabriel Mato (PPE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Commercial shipping practices

Exports from Asia, which are key to global supply chains, have in recent weeks come under threat from an excessive increase in prices for containers, partly triggered by their scarcity, a fall in the numbers of ships available and the intensification of checks at ports.

Against this backdrop, the relevant European bodies have also warned that some shipping companies are adopting operational and commercial practices which are having a distorting effect on the supply chain. These practices include failing to honour existing contracts and establishing higher fees than those originally agreed upon.

This is severely affecting European companies of all sizes operating in a variety of sectors which are suffering consequences such as delays in shipments, shortages of certain products or raw materials that are not being shipped for fear of losses and, above all, a considerable increase in costs and prices that could eventually be passed on to consumers and which, in a time of economic crisis, will hit countries such as Spain extremely hard.

In view of the risk this is liable to pose to the EU’s resilience and its economic recovery, does the Commission plan to look into the practices being adopted by some shipping companies, especially as regards pricing and stocks?

Original language of question: ES
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