Industry Welcomes Revised EU Maritime Transport Strategy

The European shipping and maritime organizations have welcomed the European Commission’s mid-term review of the EU Maritime Transport Strategy 2009-2018.

During the European Shipping Week 2017, the industry bodies endorsed the emphasis on better regulation and said that priority must in this respect be given to a fundamental overhaul of the EU Reporting Formalities’ Directive.

The revision should lead to a true European single window environment for maritime carriers that fully ensures the “reporting once” principle and that shares all necessary cargo and conveyance data between governments and all relevant authorities. This would reduce the administrative burden for ship crews, shipping companies and ship agents, according to the parties.

However, more simplifications of procedures and requirements are needed to put shipping on an equal par with land-based transport modes, which already benefit from a single market. Europe’s commerce and economy need shipping to have a genuine maritime space without barriers that will deliver real environmental and logistics benefits, the parties said in the statement.

This is one of the reasons why the European shipping industry calls upon the EU institutions and member states to go beyond a regulatory fitness check of existing legislation.

“A new shipping strategy is needed for the next decade, beyond 2018. The initiative of the Maltese Presidency of the EU to adopt a Ministerial Declaration on Maritime Transport Policy is therefore a welcome first step. We hope subsequent presidencies will continue this momentum within the maritime area,” the organizations representing the European shipping industry pointed out.

“The future EU shipping strategy should be ambitious and aim at promoting Europe as a globally leading, high-quality region for shipping to do business in. This requires investment in an attractive business climate, a highly skilled European workforce, consistent implementation of international environmental and safety standards as well as policies which are truly relevant and conducive to facilitating trade,” the parties explained, adding that the strategy should firmly put shipping in its diversity at the heart of the maritime cluster.

Such strategy should particularly show leadership in assisting the shipping industry to meet global challenges. It should also help the IMO shape a global strategy to ensure the shipping industry meets its climate obligations in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way, the parties concluded.

The European shipping industry is represented by signatories of the statement issued during the event.

The signatories include Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe, European Boatmen’s Association (EBA), European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ECASBA), European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), European Maritime Pilots Association (EMPA), European Tugowners’ Association (ETA), European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), European Dredging Association (EuDA), Interferry, and World Shipping Council (WSC).