USPA illegally demands additional payment for transshipment services
Odesa branch of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority was convicted of imposing services for the transshipment of goods for an additional fee. The case went to court, and the USPA lost it.
The third instance took the side of the Antimonopoly Committee in the case of abuse of monopoly by the Sea Ports Authority.
The Court of Cassation upheld the ruling of the courts of first and appeal instances in the case of the claim of the State Enterprise USPA (represented by the Odesa branch) to cancel the decisions:
- The Odesa branch of the AMCU (Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine) on the violation by the enterprise of the legislation on the protection of economic competition;
- AMCU on verification of the decision of the Odessa branch of the Committee.
In 2019, the Odesa branch of the Committee decided that the actions of the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise USPA in the form of imposing on business entities a complex of paid services for organizing cargo transshipment on the roadstead and/or “ship-to-ship” at the berths of the Odesa seaport are a violation of the legislation on the protection of economic competition.
As it turned out during the consideration of the case, when the shipowners carried out loading and unloading operations in the water area of the Odesa seaport according to the “ship-to-ship” option (from vessel to vessel, without using the berth), the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise USPA charged an additional fee for the “range of services on the organization of transshipment”. Without ordering and paying for these services, the Odesa branch of the State Enterprise USPA did not coordinate the cargo operations.
Odesa anti-monopoly authorities ordered the USPA to stop violations and not to charge and collect additional unreasonable fees for these services, which have already been paid as part of port dues and other services at state regulated tariffs or other agreements concluded with the SE USPA.
The enterprise was fined. The USPA paid it, but asked to check the decision of the anti-monopoly authorities. Based on the results of the audit, the decision remained unchanged, and the USPA went to court, which also took the side of the Antimonopoly Committee.