Odense Harbor has violated harbor law
In a decision, the Traffic Authority has agreed with Blue Water Shipping in the fact that Odense Harbor through the subsidiary Lindø Industrial Park has violated the harbor law in several places. Thus, Blue Water Shipping has been exposed to illegal competition from a municipally owned company.
The eight-page decision by the Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing agrees with Blue Water Shipping in all their main objections to the activities of the municipality-led Lindø Industrial Park.
The Board of Appeal has deniedLindø Industrial Park’sclaim that the whole case must be rejected because the complaint cannot be filed against Odense Harbor, as they criticized the activities of Lindø Industrial Park A/S, a private company. But the company is 100 percentowned by Odense Harbor and there is therefore no reason to differentiate between Odense Harbor and Lindø Industrial Parkin relation to the rules of the harbor law.
And the harbor law clearly states that municipal autonomous ports are not allowed to deal with activities, "if they are already exercised by a private actor". And that was exactly the case in many areas, the Board has decided.
The battle between Blue Water Shipping and Odense Harbor began when the port on January 1, 2014 took over Lindø Industrial Parkand began offering the services already provided by Blue Water. Blue Water says that, on this basis, they have experienced a decline in activity levels and earnings.
"It is critical that a municipality's port allows itself to be above legislationfor over three years. We have continuously tried to enter constructive dialogue with the Harbor Director of Odense Harbor for a sensible solution. But it has been in vain, although we have continually stated that several of the activities they began to perform in 2014 were problematic in relation to the harbor law: that a municipal port of self-government cannot exercise these activities when a private actor is already practicing these,"says Kurt Skov, CEO and founder of Blue Water Shipping.
Following the decision of the Board on March 31, Kurt Skov has personally attempted to enter dialogue about a sensible future cooperation with Odense Harbor and had a meeting with the Harbor Director last week.
"Unfortunately, I think that Odense Harbor does not respect the decision or desires constructive cooperation, and therefore we need to proceed with the case. We are in the process of preparing a lawsuit against Odense Harbor about the losses we have had as a result of the illegal activities of Odense Harbor,"says Kurt Skov, who does not want to state the exact amount of compensation - besidesthe fact that the amount is in millions.
Odense Harbor has recently been merged with Lindø Industrial Parkand transformed from a municipal self-port to a municipal public-purpose port that can legally offer port-related operations in competition with private companies such as Blue Water Shipping.
Source: The editors of Maritime Denmark