China's Ministry of Communications (MOC) has lifted its ban on shipping lines which since the middle of last month were barred from making direct calls to Shanghai. Previously banned for not possessing MOC licences, Norasia, Maersk Line and Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement (CMA) resumed their services last week after securing licences. It is not known whether Mediterranean Shipping Co has obtained the licence. Hyundai Merchant Marine, which has a slot charter arrangement with Norasia, will resume its service from Shanghai this week. It is believed the MOC put the brakes on these shipping lines after alleged complaints from the China Ocean Shipping Co that it had lost its Chinese market share to foreign competitors. Previously, shipping lines were allowed to begin services after submitting their applications to the MOC, due largely to flexibility on behalf of the authorities. Captain Arjun Vikram Singh, Norasia Services (Hong Kong) general manager of operations, said: 'We received our licence on Wednesday.' Norasia serves the ports of Xingang, Qingdao, Shanghai and Chiwan. Under China's rules, a shipping line must start a service within 180 days of obtaining permission. The MOC usually gives them approval or requests for additional clarification within three months. Mr Singh said Norasia had applied for licences at the four ports between January and April and started calling on them in June on a trial basis. This was misconstrued as a liner service and was viewed as a regular service, he said. 'Since we inadvertently infringed the rules of MOC, we pulled back and decided to only go back after we obtained the licence.' Despite the ban on direct calls, Norasia continued to serve its customers by transporting containers by feeders to the South Korean port of Pusan to connect with main haul lines. Norasia resumed its China service on Saturday with the 3,000-teu (20-foot equivalent unit) Norasia Singa calling at Chiwan. The Norasia Malta is to call at Shanghai on Wednesday followed by the Norasia Keel, which will call at Xingang on Friday. The Norasia Shanghai will make the full rotation of the four Chinese ports from October 6. Norasia's Silk Express rotation covers Qingdao, Xingang, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Singapore, Klang, Colombo, Malta, Genoa, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Le Havre, Barcelona, Felixstowe, Le Havre, Barcelona, Genoa, Malta, Dubai, Colombo, Singapore and Hong Kong. Sea-Land, which was Norasia's partner on the Silk Express until June, has broken away to join another consortium. It is understood Maersk Line, which has been transporting containers from Shanghai to Hong Kong by feeders since the ban, is to resume its China calls from today. CMA and MSC were not available for comment. Mr Singh said Norasia was still negotiating with several yards to build a new and faster generation of 1,000-teu vessels that can sail at 25 knots, with higher reefer capacity and open hull design. The company's research and development department has developed its own water tank, wind tunnel test, stability and construction details in-house, Mr Singh said. When completed, the intra-Asia market was one of the areas where the ships could be deployed, he said. The carrier was also developing a newer, second generation of vessels of the same design which could sail at 30 to 35 knots, Mr Singh said, adding these vessels would be in a class of their own.