About the importance of awareness and nuance


On April 18th, 2023, the European Parliament adopted the final EP-Council agreement for the revised EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). While this adoption is an important step for the decarbonization of shipping, FEPORT remains concerned by the real risk that some shipping companies add a call to a port outside the EU or change their rotations to avoid paying ETS allowances.

The competitiveness of EU ports is at risk if awareness and action come too late. This is why FEPORT calls upon the EU Commission to immediately start monitoring the impact of the ETS for maritime to prevent carbon and business leakage that can harm EU ports. When cargo is lost, it is very rare that it "comes back" again. Thus, the importance to have a concrete action plan when evasion is confirmed.

A lot is expected from EU ports when it comes to decarbonization. This is why expectations should also be reflected in the amount of funding and financing that the roll out of alternative fuel infrastructure will require. In this respect, FEPORT reiterates its call that part of the revenues from ETS are dedicated to investments in ports that will contribute to the decarbonization of shipping.

Last April 13th, the report on TEN-T has been adopted by the TRAN Committee. FEPORT congratulates the two co-rapporteurs as well as the shadow rapporteurs for the meaningful work.

In the discussions on TEN-T, FEPORT has argued that ports’ inclusion in the TEN-T network should not only be considered on the basis of passenger and freight thresholds, but also on the basis of other criteria such as ports’ geopolitical significance or contribution to the energy transition. 

It is a positive signal that amendments acknowledge the geostrategic importance as an additional criterion on the basis of which ports can be included in the TEN-T network. However, it is crucial that energy-related dimensions are also taken into consideration. 

With respect to foreign investments, FEPORT understands the need to ensure that these investments do not jeopardize security and public order for critical infrastructure in general and appreciates the fact that 18 Member States have screening mechanisms allowing ex ante evaluations. More nuance is nevertheless needed in the framework of the debate regarding the possible threats relating to FDI. All over the world including in the EU, FDI contributes to the attractiveness of many sectors and creates jobs.

FDI does not always mean full operational control or access to sensitive information from a security perspective. Neither does operational control mean ownership. Hence, the necessity to have a meaningful and serene dialogue between all interested parties to better grasp the entire dimensions of FDI and its role.



11.04.2023 – Commission launches first-stage consultation of social partners to strengthen the social dialogue - Brussels

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Following the European Parliament resolution adopted last February which called for the European Works Council Directive’s revision, on the 11th of April, the Commission launched the first-stage consultation of European social partners on the revision of the Directive.

The first stage of the consultation will collect the opinions of European social partners on the need for and overall direction of possible EU action to improve the European Works Councils Directive.

The Directive advocates for a shared understanding of the transnational challenges that large multinational companies have to face and the involvement of employees in decision-making, with the aim of exchanging on possible solutions, facilitating their implementation and increasing the impact of strategic choices made by the employer.  

Source: European Commission



13.04.2023 Trans European transport projects: first go-ahead to new rules - Brussels

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The Transport and Tourism Committee adopted its position on the TEN-T rules. Transport MEPs agreed on major EU transport infrastructure projects should focus more on sustainable transport, avoid delays and establish links with Ukraine and Moldova. This is the EU’s plan to build a network of railways, roads, inland waterways and short sea shipping routes connected through ports and terminals across the European Union.

The Committee of Transport and Tourism is in favour of unified technical and operational rules for each mode of transport and emphasises that intermodal transport should mainly take place by rail, inland waterways or short sea shipping, on the other hand, road transport should be done just at the initial or final leg of the carrying.

Also, MEPs insisted to complete TEN-T project by the end of 2030 and to eliminate bottlenecks and missing links by the end of 2050. In order to encourage a rapid realisation of these projects, MEPs support the introduction of an intermediate deadline of 2040. In case of a significant delay, MEPs proposed that the Commission should immediately start an infringement procedure and reduce or stop funding.

Source: European Parliament



18.04.2023 –  Women in Transport – DG MOVE - Brussels

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On April 18th, FEPORT participated in the "Women in Transport" meeting organized by DG MOVE. During the meeting, there were many interventions from startups and trade unions which all underlined that the sector must be attractive for women who want to join it.

Three main points were raised during the discussion, which have become more important after the pandemic of covid-19:

1)     Job’s quality : Quality jobs are disappearing, whereas low quality jobs are on the rise

2)     Flexibility: The need of more flexible working conditions to be inserted in contracts, which is not considered in most EU Member States

3)     Security and sanitation: Violence towards women is increasing, including sexual harassment, hence the need for more attention to women’s health.



18.04.2023 – European Parliament adopts CBAM and ETS in aviation and shipping - Brussels

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On the 18th of April the European Parliament, during the plenary session in Strasbourg, approved two pieces of legislation that are part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, namely the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) and the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The texts now also have to be formally endorsed by the Council.  

Within the EU ETS framework, the Parliament included for the first time GHG emissions from maritime shipping.

EU ETS Maritime will make a distinction between “intra-EU voyages”, which are voyages between two ports in the EU, and extra-EU voyages, which are inward and outbound voyages between a port in the EU and a port outside the EU. ETS maritime will apply to all (100%) emissions on intra-EU voyages and half (50%) of the emissions on extra-EU voyages. 

EU ETS will be phased in between 2024 and 2026 meaning shipping companies will be required to submit allowances to cover a gradually increasing amount of emissions following the below timeline: 

-                      40 % of emissions by 2024 

-                      70% of emissions by 2025 

-                      100% of emissions by 2026 

Regarding the use of the revenues, at least 20 million ETS allowances, which correspond to around EUR 2 billion under the current ETS carbon price, will be earmarked for dedicated maritime calls under the Innovation Fund.  

As for the CBAM, its aim is to incentivise non-EU countries to increase their climate ambition and to ensure that EU and global climate efforts are not undermined by production being relocated from the EU to countries with less ambitious climate policies. Therefore, importers of goods covered by the CBAM (such as iron, steel, cement, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity and hydrogen) would have to pay any price difference between the carbon price paid in the country of production and the price of carbon allowances in the EU ETS. 

Moreover, The CBAM will be phased in from 2026 until 2034 at the same speed as the free allowances in the EU ETS are being phased out. 



19.04.2023 – European Parliament adopts position on TEN-T - Brussels

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On the 19th of April, the European Parliament adopted its position on the ongoing review of the TEN-T regulation, during its plenary sitting in Strasbourg.

In its position, Parliament reiterates its position to complete major infrastructure projects on the core network by 2030 and on the comprehensive network by 2050, while strengthening the role of the 11 European Coordinators. In the occurrence of significant delays, Parliament underlines that the Commission should launch infringement procedures and decrease or end funding if necessary.

In its position, the European Parliament also stresses that intermodal transport should be primarily done by rail, inland waterways or short-sea shipping, with road transport only accounting for the initial/final leg of the journey. For rail, MEPs propose rail speed requirements of 160 km/h for passenger trains and 100 km/h for cargo trains.

In view of Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, Parliament also voted to cut infrastructure projects involving Russian and Belarus, while stepping up the EU’s partnership with Ukraine and Moldova.

Source: European Parliament



24.04.2023 – Scoreboard State aid 2022 - Brussels

On the 24th of April, the Commission published the annual State Aid Scoreboard, which provides a comprehensive overview of EU State aid expenditure, based on reports provided by the Member States. The 2022 State Aid Scoreboard refers to the State Aid expenditure of 2021.

In particular, in 2021, Member States spent about €335 billion under State Aid measures for several objectives, such as:

  • Measures relating to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which helped businesses seriously affected by the pandemic to remain viable.
  • Environmental protection and energy saving, which are the (non-crisis-related) policy objectives on which Member States by far spent the most.
  • Research and development, including innovation, that has become the second objective on which Member States have spent the most.
  • the General Block Exemption Regulation(GBER), which provides scope for certain measures with limited impact on the internal market to be implemented without prior approval by the Commission, as well as other sectoral block exemptions. In this context, the expenditure under GBER measures increased in 2021 with respect to the previous year (+10%, that corresponds to €5.8 billion), thus showing a higher increase than the one realized in the two years before (+6% in 2020 and +8% in 2019).
Source: European Commission



24.04.2023 – TRAN Committee exchanges with Transport Commissioner on upcoming proposals - Brussels

On April 25th, 2023, members of the TRAN Committee exchanged with the EU Transport Commissioner, Adina Valean, on the latest and upcoming transport-related proposals.

Commissioner Vălean provided an overview of the Fit for 55 package, as well as on Road Safety, Greening Freight, Multimodal Digital Mobility Services and several other files.

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TRAN MEPs expressed concern on the fact that there might not be enough time to finalise work on the different over the course of the ongoing legislative period. Commissioner Valean agreed that there are some files that have been delayed, but DG MOVE is working hard to accelerate them.

Among others, five maritime safety proposals as a package are expected to be finalised soon. The existing package has been in place for over 10 years and now needs updating to take account of technological advances and changes in the international regulatory environment. On sustainability, the Commission is finalising a package on greening freight planned for June 2023.

The legislative proposal will improve how infrastructure capacity is managed and allocated, and a review of the directive on weights and dimensions targeted to adapt to electric vehicles is also planned. The directive on combined transport will also be revised to support multimodality. A new instrument will be proposed to measure emissions from transport services, the Count EUmmissions proposal.

The Commissioner concluded her presentation by saying that she has covered the main items for this year's work programme, and that is just a small part of what the Commission working on. The Commission will continue to make transport more sustainable and resilient in many other ways, and to work hard to support Ukraine through the Solidarity Lanes, as well as closely following closely the implementations of sanctions against Russia, many of which affect directly the transport sector or involve transport operations.

One MEP expressed concern about energy independence replacing Russia and asked what the Commission envisaged to decrease China's influence over ports and other critical infrastructure. In the context of the solidarity lanes, he said that some countries banned the transit of some agricultural goods on their territory, and he asked if any definition is envisaged for these solidarity lanes - are envisaged only for transit?

Regarding Solidarity Lanes and imports of various products, the Commissioner acknowledged that there were concerns in some Member States regarding the effect of products coming into the European market. The Agriculture and Trade Commissioners are working on the subject, and the Commission stressed the need for a common European approach. The Commissioner highlighted the importance of solidarity lanes for exports and imports, not just for agricultural products but also for humanitarian aid and stated that the Commission was working to make them as functional as possible.

Regarding China, ports, and critical infrastructure, the Commissioner talked about foreign investment rules and how the Commission advised Member States to evaluate cases where there may be a negative impact.



25.04.2023 – Council adopts five laws part of the Fit for 55 package – Brussels

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On the 25th of April, the Council adopted five key pieces of legislation that will enable the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the main sectors of the economy, in order to meet 2030 climate targets.

In particular, the Council voted on the following laws that are part of the Fit for 55 package:

Ø  Revision of the EU Emission Trading System Directive (ETS)

Ø  Revision of ETS Aviation Directive

Ø  Amendment of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) shipping Regulation

Ø  Adoption of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

Ø  Adoption of Social Climate Fund

As regards EU ETS, the new rules increase the overall ambition of emissions reductions by 2030 in the sectors covered by the EU ETS to 62% compared to 2005 levels. Moreover, emissions from shipping have been included within the scope of the directive for the first time. Obligations for shipping companies to surrender allowances will be introduced gradually: 40% for verified emissions from 2024, 70% from 2025 and 100% from 2026.

Under the MRV framework, offshore vessels will be included in the monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport first, and only later be included in the EU ETS. Furthermore, non-CO2 emissions (methane and N2O) will be integrated into MRV regulation from 2024 and in the EU ETS from 2026.

As for CBAM, it covers imports of products in carbon-intensive industries, and its objective is to prevent that EU's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are counterbalanced by increased emissions outside its borders through the relocation of production to EU countries where policies to combat climate change are less ambitious than in the EU, or through increased imports of carbon-intensive products.

Finally, the Social Climate Fund is a tool that Member States will use to finance measures and investments to support households, micro-enterprises and vulnerable transport users and to help them cope with the price impact of an emissions trading scheme for buildings, road transport and other sectors.

The laws will now be signed by the Council and the European Parliament and published in the EU’s Official Journal before entering into force.

Source: European Council



26.04.2023 COCERAL Webinar on the Role of Grain Trade in Supporting Food Security – Brussels

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On the 26th of April, FEPORT attended a webinar organized by COCERAL on the role of grain trade in supporting food security. The webinar consisted in two panel discussions:the first panel focussed on the role of grain trade in maintaining and growing resilient and sustainable food and agriculture systems, the second assessed the role of grain trade from a humanitarian perspective.

The panels, which were moderated by Mr. Mark Titterington, featured speakers from companies active in the grain trading sector.. In the second panel session, Mr. Amer Badawi participated on behalf of the UN World Food Programme. Ms. Iliana Axiotiades, Secretary General of COCERAL, provided a wrap up of the panel sessions.

Topics discussed during the first session included the war in Ukraine and its effects on grain trading, thereby assessing the impact of disruptions in Ukraine’s seaports and the efforts to export agricultural products via alternative transport means.

The effects of climate change on grain trading were also mentioned as these concern both the harvest as well as the transport of agricultural products.

In the second session, the importance of the cooperation between public and private sectors and the humanitarian community was underlined.



Member’s News Corner


30.03.2023 – World’s first hydrogen dual-fuel straddle carrier in Antwerp

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The port of Antwerp-Bruges has become the first port in the world to have hydrogen dual-fuel straddle carrier. The machine has been launched by Antwerp Terminal Services (ATS), a joint venture between MSC PSA Europe Terminal (MPET) an PSA Antwerp.

After a two-year design and development phase, the straddle carrier operating on a mix of hydrogen and diesel fuel will be tested in live operations at PSAA’s Noordzee Terminal. Those tests are part of “Green Straddle Carrier Program”, in which terminal operators are evaluating four major technological pathways to lower the carbon emissions of these vehicles in their actual working environments, including hydrogen, biofuel, hybrid battery/diesel and full electrification. 

The dual-fuel technology will replace 70% of diesel consumption with hydrogen, with the ultimate goal of 100% hydrogen injection.

Source: Splash247



12.04.2023 –  DP World Antwerp has bought new quay cranes  

 Three new quay cranes arrived at DP World Antwerp Gateway, that has recently invested €200 million in expansion projects. Two more cranes will be added to the terminal next year.

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The cranes are the latest product of an expansion and modernization plan for the terminal started in 2019 with the support of the European Commission.

Dirk Van den Bosch, CEO of DP World Antwerp Gateway stated: “These cranes will enable us to handle our projected volume growth in the years ahead. With each new milestone we reach, we consolidate our place as one of Europe's top ports and strengthen our position as a driver of positive change and economic growth.”

Source: Sea trade Maritime



20.04.2023 –  Eight new low-emission hybrid straddle carriers for Tollerort

In April, at the Container Terminal Tollerort of HHLA, new hybrid-drive straddle carriers became operational, which allows for the transportation of containers in a more environmentally friendly way between the ship, the port, the rail terminal and the truck gate.

These carriers consume much less fuel and consequently emit less. The carriers collect excess energy, in a high-performance lithium-ion battery. While driving, the vehicle uses the energy from the battery, so this lightens the load on the combustion engine.

The new equipment also aligns with HHLA aims of halving its CO2 emissions compared to 2018 by 2030, and to operate in a completely climate-neutral manner by 2040.

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Source: HHLA



Events supported by FEPORT


25-28.04.2023 EMPA General Assembly - Rome

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18.05.2023 – International Conference - Livorno

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31.05.2023 – European Environmental Ports Conference 2023 - Valencia




13-15.06.2023 – TOC Europe 2023, Rotterdam

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FEPORT meetings

03.05.2023                 Environment, Safety and Security Committee

04.05.2023                 Port Policy Committee

30.05.2023                 Customs and Logistics Committee

01-02.06.2023            FEPORT GA – Saintes Maries de la Mer

15.06.2023                 Social Affairs Committee

21.09.2023                 Board of Directors

26.09.2023                 Customs and Logistics Committee

28.09.2023                 Social Affairs Committee

04.10.2023                 Environment, Safety and Security Committee

05.10.2023                 Port Policy Committee

02.11.2023                 Board of Directors


Institutional meetings

22-23.05.2023               ITRE Committee Meeting – Brussels

24-25.05.2023              TRAN Committee Meeting – Brussels

25.05.2023                   REGI Committee Meeting – Brussels

03.07.2023                  Sectoral Social Dialogue for Ports

09.11.2023                   Sectoral Social Dialogue for Ports



Other meetings and conferences

       25-28.04.2023         EMPA General Assembly - Rome

       18.05.2023              International Conference - Livorno

       31-01.05.2023         European Environmental Port Conference 2023 – Valencia

       13-15.06.2023         TOC Europe 2023 - Rotterdam

       14-16.06.2023         ETA General Assembly Meeting - Alicante


FEPORT Newsletter - April 2023