European Shipowners unveil 16+1 proposals to boost EU shipping policy

The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) has unveiled 16+1 proposals to strengthen the £10bn shipping industry ahead of an upcoming review of the European Union’s (EU) shipping policy in 2017.

The association presented 16 policy proposals for better regulation to boost the EU’s global leadership in the shipping sector, while completing the internal market for shipping and digitalisation to simplify administrative processes.

ECSA presented a check list for smarter regulation that ensures compliance with regulatory norms, while ensuring that EU shipping regulation adds more value than what can be achieved at an international level.

ECSA president Thomas Rehder said: “What we really want to show transport commissioner Bulc is that our proposals tie in with the commission’s broader policy objectives.”

The proposals are aimed at minimising emissions from the European maritime industry through co-modality and a shift of passengers and cargo to sea. Rehder said: “Instead of presenting the commission with a wish list, we are proposing a series of quick wins that are equally beneficial to the industry as they are to the EU.

“We sincerely hope our efforts will facilitate the work of the commission services and we stand ready to assist them and support them in the most effective way.”

ECSA also recommended launching a shipping package in 2017, as initially proposed by the transport commissioner this year, as well as supporting short sea shipping in the EU.

Violeta Bulc said: “The 16+1 ECSA points are a very holistic proposal. I invite the shipping industry to work closer with the commission in the directions you propose. It’s a process that will make us both stronger.”

Recently, the UK Chamber of Shipping published a new study analysing the impact of the EU on the UK’s shipping industry.

The report stated the EU’s closer union is ‘distracting’ and its relevance in the 21st century should be questioned. The study recommends the European Commission focuses on improving the single market and act as a ‘watchdog’ that protects free trade.

The study also proposed a review of existing regulations, while providing transparency in their formulation, enabling the removal of unnecessary, failed or outdated regulation.

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