The European Commission has proposed amendments to Regulation 823/2000, which is the last existing block exemption (from general EC competition rules) in the transport sector. The Regulation allows shipping companies to form consortia and coordinate their activities to improve productivity and the quality of liner shipping services. The Commission considers that amendments to the current regime are necessary to give effect to last year's abolition of another block exemption regulation ((EEC) 4056/86) that allowed price fixing between shipping companies. The revision of Regulation 823/2000 is also ultimately designed to facilitate a transition to the general competition rules applied to all other economic sectors. The Commission suggests that the new block exemption should apply for a period of five years. Stakeholders are invited to submit their comments and supporting data. Several shipping companies have already expressed their concern with the Commission proposal, claiming that it would disrupt the entire industry and that no economic evaluation of the proposal's effects has been carried out by the Commission.