European Union

There can be no regulation that is truly international because there is no supreme authority to exercise enforcement.  Any submission to international law is voluntary by the state concerned whether it is a reference to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, established under the auspices of the United Nations or the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. One way in which international regulation can be enforced is by the nations incorporating the regulations or conventions into their own legal system.  Typical of this is the way in which the Hague-Visby Rules are incorporated in the UK into the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971. In the case of the European Union, the nations concerned are bound by treaty to take European Laws into their own systems. Virtually all developed countries have some form of competition law either outlawing or regulating any form of monopoly or cartel.  One of the basic premises in most such law is to make illegal any agreement between two or more competitors mutually to regulate either the price or the supply of goods or services. As shipping is essentially international, such national statutes will have an effect beyond their own borders. Typical of these, and the first to apply such laws was the United States whose anti-trust laws are enforced enthusiastically upon liner operators by the Federal Maritime Commission which has for many years maintained a strict control on Liner Conferences.