Marine Link
Wednesday, July 18, 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.

The EU's Maritime Spatial Planning Goes Global

Image: European Commission

160 experts from all over the world have gathered in Brussels on 24 and 25 May for the first meeting of the International Forum on Maritime Spatial Planning. They have discussed ongoing projects both in the EU and abroad and shared views on the challenges of planning public sea space across borders. The global character of the event stems from the recent alliance between the European Commission and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) – an international organisation with a long-standing experience on the issue of maritime spatial planning.

Shipowners Committed to IMO Hong Kong Convention

Photo: International Chamber of Shipping

Global Shipowners’ Meeting (coordinated by the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and attended by BIMCO, ECSA, ICS and INTERTANKO) reaffirms commitment to the Hong Kong Convention and the need for a global solution for environmentally sustainable ship recycling. A group of leading international shipowners’ associations met in Hong Kong on 14th May to consider the next steps to take in bringing the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally-Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC) into force.

Japan Plans Retaliatory Tariffs Against US

© Amarinj / Adobe Stock

Japan is considering tariffs on U.S. exports worth $409 million in retaliation against steel and aluminium import tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump, media reported on Thursday.Such a move would signal Tokyo is ready to go beyond backdoor talks and pleas for exemptions from the U.S. duties.It would also add to a growing rift that Trump's "America First" trade policies is creating among major economies, which threatens to slow global trade and business activity.Japan is the only major U.S. ally that did not receive exemptions from Trump's tariff decision.

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.

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.

Europe’s First LNG Dredger Conversion Underway

(Photo: Damen)

Work has kicked off at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque to convert the trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Samuel de Champlain from diesel-electric propulsion to dual-fuel capability combining marine gas oil (MGO) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). A ceremony was held at the yard to mark the first cutting of steel for the prefabrication of a new section of hull that will hold the new generators and other equipment.Present at the occasion were Jean-Pierre Guellec, CEO of GIE Dragages-Ports…

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.

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.

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…

Europe Can Expect Only Modest Trade Deal with U.S. - EU Trade Chief

© Pavel Losevsky / Adobe Stock

The European Union's trade chief described on Thursday the lack of a full trade accord between the bloc and the United States as ridiculous, but said the best that could be expected now was only a very modest agreement.Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom also rebuffed suggestions that the EU should simply seek to settle its differences over tariffs with the United States at the World Trade Organization, questioning whether the WTO's appeals process could survive in the longer term.EU leaders agreed last week to discuss opening their markets wider to U.S.

HSH Nordbank Aims to Buy Shipping Loans from Other Banks

© Kalyakan / Adobe Stock

Germany's HSH Nordbank, once the world's biggest ship financier, aims to buy shipping loans from other banks and make new investments in the industry as it emerges from years of turmoil, a top bank official said.The bank's regional government owners are selling the lender to buyout groups Cerberus Capital Management and J.C. Flowers, with investors GoldenTree, Centaurus Capital and Austrian bank BAWAG also taking stakes."HSH, at the end of this process of privatization, will for the first time since 2008 be restored.

EU Brexit Working Party Visits Antwerp Port

Photo: Port of Antwerp

The EU working party responsible for advising the EU Brexit negotiators paid a visit to the port of Antwerp on Monday 28 May. The working party is made up of representatives of the 27 EU countries, the European Commission and the European Council. During their visit to the Border Inspection Post and the Antwerp Gateway Terminal the European diplomats learned about the various procedures involved in importing and exporting goods in and out of the European Union. The aim of the visit was to find out the practical implications of the various Brexit scenarios.

US Hits EU, Canada and Mexico with Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

© Leonid Eremeychuk / Adobe Stock

The United States on Thursday said it will impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, reigniting investor fears of a global trade war as Washington's allies took steps to retaliate against U.S. goods.The move, announced by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a telephone briefing on Thursday, ended months of uncertainty about potential tariff exemptions and suggested a hardening of the Trump administration's approach to trade negotiations.It also sent a chill through financial markets…

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…

EU Plans to Hit US Imports with Duties from July

© beketoff / Adobe Stock

The European Union expects to hit U.S. imports with additional duties from July, ratcheting up a transatlantic trade conflict after Washington imposed its own tariffs on incoming EU steel and aluminium.EU members have given broad support to a European Commission plan to set 25 percent duties on up to 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of U.S. exports in response to what is sees as illegal U.S. action. EU exports that are now subject to U.S. tariffs are worth 6.4 billion euros."The…

European Shipowners on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Photo:  European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA)

The European shipowners together with MEP Wim Van de Camp yesterday organised a seminar in the European Parliament to discuss the International Maritime Organization (IMO) initial Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategy for shipping. The initial strategy was adopted in the 72nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the IMO in April this year, said a release from  European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA). Van de Camp opened the well…

Trump Tariffs: EU Seeks Permanent Exemption

© Leonid Eremeychuk / Adobe Stock

European Union leaders called on Friday for a temporary exemption from U.S. import duties on steel and aluminium to be made permanent, saying they reserved the right to respond in an "in a proportionate manner" to protect the bloc's interests. The 40-day exemption granted by Washington was like U.S. President Donald Trump "putting a gun to our head", Belgium's prime minister complained. The EU's trade negotiator demanded that the United States drop "artificial deadlines". Trump said on Thursday he would suspend tariffs for the EU…

IMO Under Pressure to Tackle CO2 Emissions

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © 14KT Gold )

The United Nations' shipping agency is under pressure this week to agree on a plan to cut carbon emissions from the sector, following years of slow progress, but the strategy could fall well short of what is required to limit global warming. The shipping sector, along with aviation, avoided specific emissions cut targets in a global climate pact agreed at the end of 2015, which aims to limit a global average rise in temperature to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius from 2020. Shipping accounts for 2.2 percent of world CO2 emissions…

ECSA and WSC Call for European Maritime Single Window

Photo:  World Shipping Council

The European Commission is expected to publish a proposal for a revision of the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD) in early May 2018 that is intended to remedy the current costly, unharmonised and burdensome reporting requirements facing ships calling at EU ports. Current complex, repetitive and duplicative reporting requirements not only result in productivity losses for maritime carriers and their customers but also create unnecessary workload and stress for ship crews. A…

European Shipowners Welcome EU Trade Agreements with Japan, Singapore

Photo: European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA)

The European Commission presented trade agreements with Japan and Singapore to the Council to eventually be adopted. The European shipowners are very pleased that the first step towards the conclusion of these agreements has been taken. “With Japan and Singapore agreements Europe sends a strong message to the world in support of fair and regulated trade”, said European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) Secretary General Martin Dorsman. The agreement with Japan is the biggest bilateral trade partnership ever negotiated by the European Union.

Amsterdam Port Becoming a Smart Global Hub

Photo: Port of Amsterdam

The growing number of construction projects in the Greater Amsterdam Area has created a need for a smart and efficient method for transporting materials to building sites. In an effort to meet this demand, the City of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam, Waternet and TNO (the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) have launched a partnership project in Amsterdam focussing on building logistics. As part of the project, commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment…

European Sea Ports Organisation Seeks Support for Connecting Europe Facility

Herald Ruijters. Photo: ESPO

The European Commission (EC) proposal for the Multi Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 adopted on Wednesday 2 May reserves a similar budget for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the financial instrument for Transport, in the current financial period. The proposal foresees 12,8 billion EUR under the general envelope, 11,3 billion EUR for transport projects in Cohesion countries and a new envelope of 6,5 billion EUR for investments in transport infrastructure for dual civilian-military use.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2018 - Marine Communications Edition

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