“Fit for 55” and the strategic role of Member States
It was very impressive to read the list of commitments that have been taken in Brest on the occasion of the One Ocean Summit organized by the French Presidency of the Council. It is very positive to see that so many stakeholders are ready to engage to protect biodiversity, the oceans and to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of maritime transport.
Ambition is in our interest as are the sense of responsibility and commitment which materialize into concrete actions.
It was however unexpected to read in the final declaration of the summit, commitments on behalf of terminal operators who were not really involved in the discussions. This is probably due to a kind of confusion that often prevails regarding the diversity of port stakeholders and their role.
For those who do not know, ports gather a variety of stakeholders some of whom are public, while others are private.
In most EU ports (which are landlord ones), port authorities represent public municipalities, Members States or regions and are in charge of the building and management of port infrastructure, while private port companies and terminals ensure commercial activities thanks to investments in superstructure, equipment and the training of port workers.
The other port services such as pilotage and towage or salvage offer public and private services.
When it comes to investments to decarbonize their activities, private port companies and terminals invest their own financial resources to green their equipment and operations.
The above mentioned confusion regarding the role of the different stakeholders in ports has materialized in some amendments to the Fit for 55 proposals as well as in few sentences of the final declaration of the One Ocean Summit:
“The port authorities, representing the main maritime entry points of the countries represented at the One Ocean Summit, the terminal operators as well as the financial institutions signatories, declare their common commitment:
- To make their best efforts to deploy, by 2028, shore-side electricity supply, in particular for cruises and container ships.
- To reward as ports the most virtuous ships stopovers by incentive mechanisms such as those based on the environmental ship index (ESI) or Green Award program, which allow to reduce stopover fees and in general to promote actions in favour of the improvement of the port passage environmental balance.”
How can it be expected that terminal operators - which are private entities - commit to finance alternative fuel infrastructure?
This is the primary task of Member States, municipalities or regions and Port Authorities, which represent them at local level. Why building an infrastructure should be in the remit and responsibility of private port companies and terminals, in particular when there is no commitment from the customers to use the alternative fuels and no certainty that there will be a return on investments? Private port companies and terminals will certainly offer to their customers the service – i.e., the access to alternative fuels – once the infrastructure would have been built and the demand proven to be a sustainable one.
It is very reassuring to see that many MEPs are understanding irrelevant shortcuts and realizing that there are no objective reasons to push the “hot potato” of financing to private port companies and terminals in ports. It is the responsibility of Member States and their representatives in ports to finance the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure.
FEPORT does not support amendments to the Fit for 55 proposals, and more particularly to AFIR, that shift the responsibility of infrastructure deployment in ports to terminal operators. We look forward to continuing the discussion with EU institutions to adopt pieces of legislation that do not create confusion about the role of each stakeholder in ports.
02.02.2021 – EP TRAN Committee discusses FuelEU Maritime Draft Report
On the 2nd of February, the EP TRAN Committee held a first debate on the FuelEU Maritime proposal, which sets out a regulatory framework aiming to increase the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in the maritime sector.
The Rapporteur Jörgen Warborn (EPP, Sweden) stressed the importance of maritime transport for the EU economy. However, he also noted that maritime transport accounts to 3-4 % of European emissions and reducing these emissions will come at a cost, as alternative fuels are currently way more expensive than fossil fuels. It is thus necessary in his opinion to boost innovation, production and deployment of these green alternative fuels.
MEP Warborn also considers that added costs in the transport sector will ultimately hit consumers and urged his colleagues not to introduce rules that make prices unbearable for European families and businesses.
The Rapporteur then elaborated on the main pillars of the regulation: the scope, onshore power supply and the global dimension. On the ship type scope, he is convinced that policymakers should focus on the largest actors that generate the vast majority of emissions: ships above 5,000 tones. He argued that those big ships generate 90% of maritime carbon emissions. Given that the regulation is the first of its kind, with unknown side effects, he called on his colleagues to keep the threshold relatively high in order to prevent the compliance cost from hitting the smallest shipping companies. He also argued for a review clause to evaluate if there are reasons to change the 5000 tones scope.
On the geographical scope, MEP Warborn believes that having a 50% extra-EU scope will force vessels on international voyages to adapt to EU rules, which should spur a behavioral change in the sector and pave the way for progress globally and put pressure on IMO. The Rapporteur also said that if the EU regulation succeeds in making IMO move ahead and adopt global CO2 standards, the EU should naturally align its regulations later on. He made clear that if IMO can propose a solution that can at least achieve the reduction of the same amount of global emissions, the EU regulation would be then cancelled as the IMO measures will be far more powerful if we implement them globally.
On Onshore Power Supply (OPS), MEP Warborn thinks that imposing ships to connect to OPS in all situations is an inefficient way of reducing emissions. Equipping all ports with charging infrastructure is also very costly and that money could in many cases generate better effect if used for the development of new propulsion technology and fuel production capacity. He argued that flexibility provisions must be included in the regulation to make sure that onshore power is installed where it makes sense. He also stated that FuelEU and AFIR must completely align so that supply and demand match.
MEP Vera Tax (S&D, NL) stressed the need for the EU to support ports and make FuelEU consistent with the AFIR legislation. She also stressed the need to invest in the transition, in the training and upskilling of workers, as the new energy mix will need people who can safely work with the new technologies.
MEP Elsi Katainen (RE, FI) underlined the need to keep the proposal technology-neutral to encourage the industry and the sector to find effective solutions that will work for different vessels and regions. The MEP also urged to keep LNG on board as a transitional fuel and stressed the importance of aligning FuelEU Maritime and AFIR when it comes to the application of OPS.
MEP Alessandra Basso (ID, IT), who spoke on behalf of MEP Marco Campomenosi (ID, IT), alerted her colleagues about the serious risk of ships bunkering outside the EU and on cargo diversion.
02.02.2021 – EP ENVI Committee discusses CBAM Draft Report
On the 2nd of February, the EP ENVI Committee discussed the draft report on the European Commission’s proposal for EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), presented by MEP Mohammed Chahim (S&D, NL).
The Rapporteur gave an overview of the main points of his draft report and explained that CBAM is a climate measure aiming at a twofold positive effect: avoid carbon leakage and replace the current system of free allowances, creating a level playing field between EU industry and non-EU industry.
The first pillar of his report proposes a speedier phase-in of CBAM and speedier phase out of free allowances. He argued that as long as free allowances exist, they are not respecting the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) and it would also give a wrong signal to EU industry. MEP Chahim called on the need to protect EU industry against carbon leakage and for an ambitious and fit for purpose CBAM, which should mirror EU ETS as closely as possible.
On the governance, the Rapporteur suggests the appointment of one centralized CBAM authority to manage CBAM, replacing the decentralized system with 27 national CBAM authorities proposed by the Commission, in order to avoid foreign shopping and possible discrepancies between Member States. Moreover, it remains a priority to avoid CBAM affecting developing countries disproportionately and the draft report further emphasizes the need to support least developed countries in their decarbonization efforts as well as to ensure fair and transparent allocation of the revenues collected from CBAM.
On the trade aspect, a key issue for MEP Chahim is to avoid exemptions for trade partners based on implicit carbon costs or non-pricing measures. Finally, in the Rapporteur’s opinion, the strength of CBAM resides in a WTO-compatible implementation that does not discriminate or favor any trading partner.
The majority of MEPs that took the floor welcomed the underlying need for the mechanism, but diverged in their support to certain elements of the rapporteur’s report, namely with the proposed timelines in phasing in CBAM and phasing out free allowances as well as how to address indirect emissions.
In addition to these questions, members welcomed the proposal for a centralized EU CBAM authority and spoke on other topics including how to consider the climate efforts of third countries, WTO alignment, the effects of CBAM on exports, as well as exemptions extended to less developed countries among other concerns.
02.02.2021 – French Presidency program presented at EP TRAN Committee
On the 2nd of February, the EP TRAN Committee held an exchange of views with the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, with French Minister for Transport, Mr Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, and French Minister for Tourism, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, on the French priorities in the field of transport and tourism.
In the transport part of the discussion, the Fit for 55 Package featured as the main topic, with particular emphasis on the need to ensure a balance with maintaining Europe’s competitiveness, but also on the ability of the French Presidency to reach a consensus within on such a large number of ambitious files.
Regarding maritime transport, the Minister indicated that France will coordinate the European position at the International Maritime Organization and noted that the French Presidency wants to look at the international system for carbon offsetting and align the international system with the European ETS.
The second priority in this field for the French Presidency will be a better regulation of the transport sector and its labor market. Minister Djebbari said that he was referring in particular to the maritime sector and the way flag-state issues are regulated. The objective for the French Presidency is to avoid a race to the bottom, but to have an EU that demonstrates solidarity and shared progress.
03.02.2022 – US Senate introduces OSRA Bill
On the 3rd of February, the U.S. Senate introduced its amendments to the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) bill, aimed at promoting U.S. exports while curbing carriers’ power over both container service and equipment fees charged to shippers.
The Senate bill is similar to the legislation passed in the U.S. House last December, although it lacks some of the specifics of the earlier bill. Both bills aim at giving the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) authority to initiate rulemakings, making it more difficult for ocean carriers to refuse services to American exporters.
The Senate’s version of OSRA would:
- Prohibit ocean carriers from unreasonably declining opportunities for U.S. exports, as determined by the FMC in a new required rulemaking.
- Promote transparency by requiring ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and twenty-foot equivalent units (loaded or empty) per vessel that calls at ports in the United States in the United States.
- Authorize the FMC to self-initiate investigations of ocean common carriers’ business practices and apply enforcement measures, as appropriate.
- Establish new authority for the FMC to register shipping exchanges to improve the negotiation of service contracts.
- Require ocean carriers to certify that detention and demurrage charges comply with federal regulations or face penalties.
- Shift burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of D&D charges from the invoiced party to the ocean carrier.
- Require ocean common carriers to report to the FMC each calendar quarter on total import/export tonnage and twenty-foot equivalent units (loaded/empty) per vessel that makes port in the United States.
The Senate’s bill language is not as strong as the House version when it comes to imposing import-export reciprocity on carriers. However, both bills include certification requirements for carriers when imposing demurrage and detention fees.
It is also expected that, unlike in the House, the bill will be subjected to more deliberate negotiations with an open markup for amendments.
04.02.2022 – EU Domestic Advisory Group Meeting
On the 4th of February, FEPORT attended the meeting of the EU Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) under the EU-UK Trade and Facilitation Agreement (TCA), which advises the EU Commission on the TCA implementation. FEPORT is a member of the transport sub-group, of which it is also the alternate representative.
During this meeting, the EU DAG members reflected on experiences with EU-UK trade one year after the post-Brexit deal entered into force and outlined remaining challenges and priorities.
Moreover, the representative from the transport sub-group, Mr Alberto Mazzola, CER Executive Director, presented the sub-group’s key concerns, stressing among others the issues associated to the UK decision of setting up 7 maritime Freeports and to the risks of level playing field distortions linked to it.
10.02.2022 – FEPORT and UNIM welcome Commissioner Valean and her staff in Brest
On the margins of the One Ocean Summit organized by the French Presidency of the Council, FEPORT, UNIM and other public and private port stakeholders of the Port of Brest - among others the representatives of the Union Maritime de Brest, the Port Authority of Brest, the Region of Brittany, Maritime Kuhn - had the privilege to welcome Transport Commissioner Adina Valean, Mr Walter Goetz, Head of Cabinet, Ms Roxana Lesovici, Member of the Cabinet, Ms Simona Nalin, Personal Assistant to the Commissioner, and DG MOVE's Director for Waterborne Transport, Mrs Magda Kopczynska.
After a short speech given by MEP Pierre Karleskind who also holds regional mandates on behalf of the region of Brittany, each port stakeholder provided an extensive presentation of its activities. The presentations were followed by a visit of the facilities, which included the different terminals and the industrial part (production of offshore wind equipment).
The second part of the field trip allowed the visit of the Prefecture de l’Atlantique, of the Maritime Information Cooperation & Awareness Center (MICA) and of the Frigate Bretagne.
Commissioner Valean and all the members of the delegation were extremely interested by the valuable information shared by Vice-Admiral Lebas and his colleagues, as well as to the entire crew of Bretage Frigate.
The visit of the Port of Brest had a particular “taste” as it was the first one since Commissioner Valean has been appointed since the COVID-19 did not allow other on-site visits before. In many respects, the port of Brest embodies all important dimensions we can find in a port and their strategic role for the territories they serve and for the security and safety of navigation well beyond the Atlantic Arc.
10.02.2022 – EP ENVI Committee discusses EU ETS Draft Report
On the 10th of February, the EP ENVI Committee held an exchange of views regarding MEP Peter Liese’s draft report on the revision of the EU ETS.
“It is high time for carbon pricing in the maritime sector” said the Rapporteur for the EU ETS revision. “The European parliament has continuously asked for including the maritime sector in the ETS, and it is good that the Commission included it in its proposal. I would prefer a global solution, but we clearly have to state that IMO failed to address the problem. This is also shared by companies in this sector.”
MEP Liese insisted that the revenues should be invested to decarbonize the sector. In contrast to aviation and road, modal shift from shipping to other modes of transport is not a good option. Maritime is already the most energy efficient mode of transport and if companies invest in modern technology, it will be even more environment friendly.
The Rapporteur supports the Parliament’s proposal to create a specific Ocean Fund, which should contain 75% of the revenues and should support innovation in ships as well as in ports. Moreover, the Rapporteur wants to advance the phase-in for maritime by one year compared to the Commission proposal from 2026 to 2025.
MEPs remain divided on the draft report: several MEPs welcomed the proposed amendments as a step in the right direction, with the importance of the full auctioning of ETS allowances in transport. They emphasized that revenues should feed both the Innovation and Modernization Fund, and Member States should use revenues from the ETS for more social climate measures.
14.02.2022 – EP ENVI Committee discusses FuelEU Draft Report
On the 14th of February, the EP ENVI Committee discussed the draft opinion by Rapporteur Tiemo Wölken on the FuelEU Maritime initiative.
MEP Wölken (S&D, DE) pointed out that his draft opinion aims at further strengthening the FuelEU Maritime regulation. According to him, this initiative was needed to complement the instruments that the EU already has. In his opinion, the EU needs a legislation able to foster demand for sustainable maritime fuels and the general architecture of the FuelEU Maritime regulation helps to create it. Nevertheless, this legislation can bring clear and tangible results only if its ambitions are pushed further. As such, he called on his colleagues to “do much more than the Commission is proposing,” adding that “this is both necessary and possible.”
The MEP also stressed that international ambition has to be improved. This is the reason why he had proposed to extend the application of this regulation to the full scope of international deliveries. The Rapporteur further stressed the need for a higher ambition on the short-term: the EU has to see quick changes in shipbuilding to propose propulsion with batteries, hydrogen, green ammonia and methanol. To see these changes quickly, the short-term targets have to be increased and the upscaling of zero-emission fuels need to be incentivized via quotas.
MEP Wölken then underlined the need for a higher ambition to push suppliers and operators to use renewable fuels in the maritime sector. He noted that there are already some technologies that can be used on the short-term: wind technologies, shoreside electricity and so on.
In his concluding remarks, he highlighted that this transition can be beneficial for both innovative industries in Europe and the existing workforce that is delivering important work in the maritime clusters in the European Union. He noted that the Commission's impact assessment carried out for this regulation has confirmed that the available evolution of technologies can benefit both workers and existing companies that seek to attract new investments.
MEP Wölken stressed, however, that policymakers have to think about how to upgrade skills and invest in training and certification of shipbuilders and seafarers, because learning how to work with new technologies is not currently included in training and education programs.
18.02.2022 – US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ investigate cartel conduct in global supply chains
Competition regulators from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand created a working group to identify potential cartel conduct in global supply chains to strengthen their joint efforts to deter and penalize such practices.
The working group includes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Canadian Competition Bureau, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission, the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority and the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division.
The creation of this working group follows the two-year investigation by the US Department of Justice into collusion among the world’s top liners (which didn’t lead to charges) and the meeting between Regulators from the US, the EU and China, which met in September last year and determined there was so far no evidence of anti-competitive behavior in container shipping.
Nevertheless, since then, allegations of profiteering and collusion have ramped up amid the spectacular, record earnings made by global carriers during the pandemic and other global shipping cartel investigations, most notably in the car carrier segment, have resulted in significant fines in recent years.
23.02.2022 – EU Commission proposes Data Act
On the 23rd of February, the European Commission proposed the Data Act, containing rules on who can use and access data generated in the EU across all economic sectors. The Data Act shall ensure fairness in the digital environment, stimulate a competitive data market, open opportunities for data-driven innovation and make data more accessible for all. It shall lead to new, innovative services and more competitive prices for aftermarket services and repairs of connected objects. This last horizontal building block of the Commission’s data strategy shall play a key role in the digital transformation, in line with the 2030 digital objectives.
The Data Act addresses the legal, economic and technical issues that lead to data being under-used. The new rules shall make more data available for reuse and are expected to create €270 billion of additional GDP by 2028. The proposal for the Data Act includes:
- Measures to allow users of connected devices to gain access to data generated by them.
- Measures to rebalance negotiation power for SMEs by preventing abuse of contractual imbalances in data sharing contracts.
- Means for public sector bodies to access and use data held by the private sector that is necessary for exceptional circumstances, particularly in case of a public emergency.
- New rules allowing customers to effectively switch between different cloud data-processing services providers and putting in place safeguards against unlawful data transfer.
In addition, the Data Act reviews certain aspects of the Database Directive, which was created in the 1990s to protect investments in the structured presentation of data. Notably, it clarifies that databases containing data from Internet of Things devices and objects should not be subject to separate legal protection. This shall ensure they can be accessed and used.
Consumers and businesses will be able to access the data of their device and use it for aftermarket and value-added services, like predictive maintenance. Business and industrial players will have more data available and benefit from a competitive data market. Aftermarkets services providers will be able to offer more personalised services, and compete on an equal footing with comparable services offered by manufacturers, while data can be combined to develop entirely new digital services as well.
In support of the European strategy for data, the Commission has also published an overview of the common European data spaces that are being developed in various sectors and domains, including mobility.
Source: European Commission
Members' News Corner
09.02.2022 – DP World sees 9.4 percent volume growth in 2021
In 2021, DP World has noted a volume growth of 9.4 percent towards 77.9 million TEU across its global portfolio of container terminals.
Over the past year, Europe as well as Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Australia and the Americas were the key drivers of DP world’s growth.
“We are delighted to report another strong volume performance with growth of 9.4 per cent for the year, which is once again ahead of industry growth of 6.5 per cent,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World.
Source: Port Technology
18.02.2022 – HHLA Publishes preliminary financial results for 2021
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has published their preliminary financial results for 2021, reporting revenues of €1.465 billion, i.e., an increase of 12.7 per cent in comparison with the company’s 2020 figures.
HHLA’s Port Logistics subgroup noted a revenue of €1.436 billion, which is a significant increase compared to their 1.269 billion revenues of the previous year.
“HHLA closed its second year in a row under the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic with a positive operating result,” said Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board.
“Once again, HHLA proved to be a stable and efficient hub along the global supply chain that can always ensure the reliable supply of companies and customers in Germany and Europe”, she added.
HHLA’s finalized figures for 2021 will be available on the 24th of March, 2022.
Source: Port Technology
Events supported by FEPORT
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14.04.2022 Board of Directors – Remote
26.04.2022 Social Affairs Committee – Brussels
03.05.2022 Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Brussels
18.05.2022 Customs and Logistics Committee – Brussels
19.05.2022 Port Policy Committee – Brussels
09-10.06.2022 FEPORT General Assembly – Hamburg
08.09.2022 Board of Directors – Brussels
06.10.2022 Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Brussels
18.10.2022 Social Affairs Committee – Brussels
20.10.2022 Customs and Logistics Committee – Brussels
10.11.2022 Board of Directors – Remote
24.11.2022 Port Policy Committee – Brussels
03.03.2022 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
03.03.2022 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
14.03.2022 ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels
14-15.03.2022 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
17.03.2022 FISC Committee Meeting – Brussels
21.03.2022 ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels
22.03.2022 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
31.03.2022 TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels
31.03.2022 ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels
31.03.2022 ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels
09-10.03.2022 CTAC Conference – London
09-10.04.2022 Shipping 4.0 – Naples-Genoa
24-27.05.2022 ETF Congress – Budapest
02-04.06.2022 UNIM GA – Saint-Malo
09.06.2022 Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Brussels
14-16.06.2022 TOC Europe – Rotterdam
28-30.06.2022 EuroMaritime Salon – Marseille
23.11.2022 Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Brussels