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Marine Log

May 8, 2008

EC ends parcel tanker probe

The European Commission has closed its five year investigation into possible collusive behavior in the chemical parcel tanker trade.

Among those breathings sighs of relief: Stolt-Nielsen and Odfjell.

Stolt-Nielsen today noted that in February 2003, it announced that it had entered into the EC's conditional leniency program with respect to potential infringements of European competition rules and had continued to cooperate with the EC throughout investigation.

"We are pleased that the European Commission has closed its investigation and that they will not impose any penalties on the Company," said Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, CEO of Stolt-Nielsen S.A.

Odfjell said it had been informed that the EC had closed the file "and no fines will therefore be issued against Odfjell SE by the European Commission."

"The Commission has not given any reason for its decision but Odfjell has reason to believe that the Commission has concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over the case due to the tramp exclusion contained in Regulation 4056/86, in line with what Odfjell SE has argued before the Commission," said a company statement.

"It can not be excluded that the national authorities will pursue this matter, but Odfjell SE has received conditional amnesty from the relevant states, and such further investigation should therefore not lead to any fines being issued against Odfjell SE," the statement concluded.

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