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EU shipowners welcome Parliament’s call for a comprehensive approach under FuelEU Maritime

February 26, 2021

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EU shipowners welcome the call of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament for a comprehensive approach under the upcoming FuelEU Maritime proposal. ECSA believes that a fuel standard as a requirement for ships, instead of fuel suppliers, under the FuelEU Maritime proposal would risk failing to deliver on emissions reductions and would be challenging to enforce. What is needed is a comprehensive approach entailing a fuel standard as a requirement for fuel suppliers or an efficiency standard at fleet level to incentivise further technical and operational efficiency measures.

“We welcome the adoption of the Report on maritime transport and we would like to thank the Rapporteur Ms Delli and all the shadows for their hard work. The Report rightly calls for a comprehensive approach under the upcoming FuelEU Maritime proposal. A fuel standard addressing ships instead the fuel suppliers will be hard to enforce and may not deliver its environmental objectives. Our proposal is that the contemplated measure should either take the form a fuel standard on the fuel suppliers or that of an efficiency standard covering the overall energy performance of ships. On scrubbers, it is a positive development that the Report makes a clear reference to the IMO work and that any measures should be in line with the IMO framework and the MARPOL Convention” said Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary-General.

The European Parliament’s Report also embraces a holistic approach by addressing the role of the entire maritime cluster including ports and energy suppliers. It highlights the positive contribution of digitalisation, automation and port call optimization in achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal. The Report further underlines the need to fulfil the investment commitments under the TEN-T, as well as to boost access to funding under Motorways of the Sea through simplified criteria. Lowering the threshold for financing small-scale projects by the European Investment Bank is identified as a necessary step. The Report encourages the Commission to establish a network to exchange good practices on how to adapt the workforce to the new needs of the sector. ECSA has a strong opinion that there is no sufficient basis for questioning the effectiveness of the EU Maritime State Aid Guidelines or implementing changes in the EU approach. The EU state aid guidelines continue to provide a level playing field for European shipowners, without which European shipowners are not able to compete internationally. Also the measures permitted by the State Aid Guidelines reducing the labour costs of European seafarers are a most effective measure for safeguarding employment opportunities for European seafarers.

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