Marine Link
Monday, October 15, 2018

European Commission News

European Commission Signs Grant Agreement: Official Start of NAVAIS

Photo: Netherlands Maritime Technology

With the signature of INEA (Innovation & Networks Executive Agency of the European Commission) on the Grant Agreement of NAVAIS, the project officially started on June, 1 2018. NAVAIS is a multiannual research- and innovation program for the shipbuilding industry. The results of NAVAIS will increase efficiency in design and flexibility in production networks. In total, the European Commission will invest € 6.5 million Euros ($7.5 mln) over a period of four years, by means of the Horizon 2020 program, the research- and innovation program of the European Commission.

IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on Protecting Fishers’ Lives

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety needs to be ratified and implemented in order to save fishers’ lives. This key message was reiterated by IMO’s Sandra Allnutt during the UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI 2018) meeting in Rome, Italy (9-13 July). The 2012 Cape Town Agreement is aimed at facilitating better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. The Agreement currently has 10 Contracting States, but needs 22 for entry into force, along with a required number of aggregate fishing vessels.

Croatia Extends LNG Terminal Gas Bidding Deadline

A deadline for bids on output from a planned offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to be built on Croatia's northern Adriatic island of Krk has been extended until Sept. 28, developers LNG Croatia said on Friday.Demand will dictate the capacity of the 250 million euro terminal, which is part of EU-led efforts to diversify away from Russian energy imports.The deadline on bidding for output was Aug. 3 but was delayed on requests from potential customers who are still in negotiations, LNG Croatia said.The European Commission this week said it had earmarked 124 million euros for the project which will supply gas to countries in eastern and central Europe…

Shippers Push to Undermine EU Ship Recycling Regulation

Image:  NGO Shipbreaking Platform

The EU member states’ experts on ship recycling met in Brussels to discuss the latest developments, six months ahead of the application of the 2013 Ship Recycling Regulation. With the recent decision by the Chinese government to stop the import of end-of-life ships for scrapping, the shipping industry is quick to lament that there will not be enough recycling capacity and that there will be too few options for them under the EU List of approved recycling facilities. The industry claims that the standard set by the EU must be lowered so that beaching yards can be approved.

Workers at Croatian Shipyard Uljanik Go on Strike

(File photo: Uljanik)

Some 4,500 workers at Croatia's largest shipbuilding group Uljanik went on strike on Wednesday and called for management to step down in protest over late payment."The management has lost credibility in our eyes, the workers and suppliers have lost confidence," one union leader, Marina Cvitic, said.Uljanik controls two docks in the northern Adriatic, in the cities of Pula and Rijeka.The workers control less than 50 percent of the company, with the state also a minority shareholder.

After Soybeans, EU Touts US LNG Imports to Woo Trump on Trade

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

The European Union said it was delivering on a deal with U.S. President Donald Trump to buy more U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Thursday but called on Washington to do more to make its prices competitive.In talks to urge Trump to drop hefty new tariffs last month, the EU's chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work to increase imports of U.S. soybeans and LNG to the bloc.The EU has long worked to diversify away from relying on Russia for almost 40 percent of its gas needs by developing LNG infrastructure to access other suppliers like the United States.Whether U.S.

EU Extends Danish Tonnage Tax Scheme

Pic: Danish Maritime Authority

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the extension of the existing Danish tonnage tax scheme to additional types of vessels.This will encourage ship registration in Europe and contribute to the global competitiveness of the sector without unduly distorting competition.At the same time, Denmark will amend its existing scheme to ensure that it applies only to genuine maritime shipping activities by limiting revenues from non-core activities to an acceptable level.Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in charge of competition policy…

Europe to Attract Women Seafarers

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

European Transport Workers Federation, (ETF) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have discussed possible solutions to increase women’s participation in the shipping industry in Europe. Currently only 2% of the seafaring workforce available for the EU fleet consist of women, whilst gender equality is being put at the heart of the EU’s fundamental values for sustainable and inclusive growth. Discussions focused on maritime training and career development for women, as well as the recruitment and retention of women in the shipping industry.

Repercussions of EU-Japan Pact for Hamburg Port

Graph: HHM Marktforschung

The European Union (EU) has signed its largest-ever free trade agreement. This aims to boost the economies of the EU and Japan. For instance, the deal will reduce Customs duties and other trade obstacles, stimulate growth and create new jobs.After checking the legal formulation of the text and translation, the agreement will be submitted to the European Parliament and EU member states for approval. Ideally, the pact, which has been in preparation since 2013, can come into force before the European elections in 2019. How could it make itself felt in the Port of Hamburg?

Equinor Acquires Energy Trader Danske Commodities

CEO Henrik Lind (left), Danske Commodities, and Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice president, Marketing & Supply in Equinor. (Photo: Thomas Priskorn / PRISKORN)

Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor, formerly Statoil, is acquiring the Danish energy trading company, Danske Commodities for EUR 400 million (USD 470 mln). "Equinor has reached agreement to buy 100% of the shares in Danish energy trading company Danske Commodities (DC) for EUR 400 million, with smaller contingent payments depending on DC’s performance over the next couple of years," said a press release from the company. This acquisition – of one of Europe’s largest short-term electricity traders – supports Equinor’s development towards becoming a broad energy company.

Good start for CETA Agreement

Pic: Danish Shipping

New calculations indicate that last year's trade agreement between the EU and Canada, the CETA agreement, has had a positive impact on trade between the continents and significantly increased exports from the EU to Canada. Shipping companies feel the effect of this.Last year's abolition of virtually all tariffs has improved the business climate between Canada and the EU and led to significantly increased EU-Atlantic exports to Canada. Canada is Denmark's 13th largest trading partner…

Europe Prefers Polluting Yards Abroad, Though It can Handle Ship Recycling

Image provided by NGO Shipbreaking Platform/ Damen Verolme Rotterdam ship recycling yard – © DAMEN / Offshore Ship Recycling Rotterdam – OSRR

Ship recycling yards approved by the EU will have enough capacity to handle demand from EU-flagged ships that need to be scrapped, a statement from NGO Shipbreaking Platform said qoting a new data analysis.The shipping industry wants low-cost ship ‘breaking’ yards outside the EU – with dangerous working conditions and poor environmental standards – to be added to the EU list of approved facilities in order to meet demand from vessels bound by the bloc’s ship recycling law, which…

Euro Zone Trade in Goods Surplus Shrinks as Exports Drop

© Suttisak / Adobe Stock

Euro zone's surplus for goods traded with the rest of the world dropped in May as exports fell and imports increased, one month before United States' tariffs on European steel and aluminium kicked in, official data showed on Monday.The European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, said the 19-country currency bloc had a goods trade surplus of 16.5 billion euros ($19.3 billion) in May, compared with 19.3 billion a year earlier, according to non seasonally adjusted estimates.The reduced surplus was caused by a 0.8 percent fall in exports compared with a year earlier…

Brexit Shouldn't Mar Prospects of Seafarers: UK Chamber

Photo: UK Chamber of Shipping

UK Chamber of Shipping said that no deal could limit the opportunities for UK seafarers. A no-deal Brexit would also potentially inconvenience operators of UK-flagged ships, the UK Chamber says.On Thursday, the UK Government published another 28 technical notices, which advise on how potential disruption from a no-deal exit from the European Union can be minimised. The latest batch includes two important shipping-related notices: one on seafarer certification and one on maritime…

Tax Sops for Shore-Side Electricity Supply for Ships in EU

Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General. Photo: The European Sea Ports Organisation

The Transport committee of the European Parliament supported yesterday the removal of tax barriers for the uptake of shore-side electricity supply (OPS) in ports for ships at berth.The Ertug report on the deployment of infrastructure for alternative fuels in the EU which was voted by the Transport committee, pointed out that taxation has a major impact on the price competitiveness of alternative fuels and underlined that disparities in energy taxation for shore-side supply for…

Croatian Shipyard Workers to End Strike, Future Uncertain

Photo courtesy of Uljanik

Workers at Croatia's largest shipbuilding group Uljanik, who have been on strike for more than a week, began receiving their delayed July salaries on Friday and are set to return to work on Monday.Union leaders and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, whose government struck a deal with a local bank, confirmed the payments for some 4,500 workers at the docks, located in the northern Adriatic cities of Pula and Rijeka.Last Monday the workers protested in Zagreb demanding the government's help.Despite the funds secured for July and August salaries…

ECSA Mulls More Capacity on EU Recycling

Image: European Community Shipowners' Associations

The European Shipping industry welcomes the European Commission’s current inspections of ship recycling facilities in order to enlarge the list of approved facilities that will ensure safe and environmentally sound ship recycling.When non EU facilities such as Indian facilities are found to be compliant with the requirements, they should be included in the EU list, as it will facilitate and encourage further positive developments taking place in South Asia and worldwide.By 31st…

European Shippers Call for Action Against Unfair Trade

Pic: SEA Europe

European Shipowners and Maritime Technology Industry call for decisive actions against unfair trade practices and in favour of global playing field.The European Shipyards and Maritime Equipment Association SEA Europe and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) welcome the recent statement of EU Trade Commission Cecilia Malmström against unfair trade practices in the Far East.The trade associations representing respectively European shipbuilding and maritime equipment…

Trump Bets on New European LNG Terminals

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump expects the European Union to fund 9 to 11 liquefied natural gas (LNG) ports to absorb "vastly" more shipments from the United States but current EU investment in new projects will only help open small markets.In a White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late on Monday, Trump said part of the U.S.-EU trade talks sought to expand America's reach into the continent's gas markets which were awash in Russian supply."And we are already talking to the European Union about building anywhere from 9 to 11 ports…

Focus on African Ports and Hinterland Connectivity

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

When a ship comes into port it may be the end of a voyage, but just the beginning of a range of administrative tasks that need to be completed.The port is unlikely to be the final destination for the cargo – which will need to be unloaded and forwarded in a variety of ways. This requires logistics and infrastructure that connects the port to other inland places and regions – known as ‘hinterland connectivity’. This was the issue under the spotlight at the first regional conference of The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) in Abuja…

Prof. Kurt Bodewig is European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea

Photo: European Sea Ports Organisation

The European Sea Ports Organisation congratulates Prof. Kurt Bodewig on his nomination as European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea and is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation to further enhance the European maritime transport dimension and the role of European ports within the future Connecting Europe Facility and the TEN-T network.The European Commission appointed three new TEN-T Corridor Coordinators, while the mandate of eight Coordinators has been extended.European…

EU Okays Expansion of Denmark's Shipping Tax

© Pavel Losevsky / Adobe Stock

The European Commission approved on Friday the expansion of a Danish scheme to tax shipping companies on their tonnage, the EU executive said in a statement.Under the so-called tonnage tax schemes, shipping companies pay taxes on the basis of the size of the shipping fleet rather than on their actual taxable profits.The Commission authorized Denmark to expand its existing scheme for shipping firms to several new categories including guard vessels and ships servicing off-shore installations, it said in a statement.(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio)

Malta Prepares for Hazardous, Noxious Substance Spills

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

With the rise in transport by sea of chemicals and gases, in bulk and containerized, adequate preparedness for response to potential spill incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) is increasingly important. The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is hosting a regional workshop on response to such incidents, in Valletta, Malta (20-21 June). Regional cooperation on oil and HNS spill response and contingency planning is an efficient and cost-effective way of preparing for possible spills – through the sharing of information…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2018 - Marine Design Annual

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