FEPORT, ETA, EMPA and ECASBA Raise Cargo Diversion Concerns

November 30, 2023

Source: FEPORT
Source: FEPORT

As risks of cargo diversion to the detriment of EU ports are becoming more and more real with the upcoming entry into force at the beginning of 2024 of EU ETS for shipping, local organizations are voicing their concerns.

The Federation of European Port Companies and Private Terminals (FEPORT), European Tugowners’ Association (ETA), European Maritime Pilots’ Association (EMPA) and European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ECASBA) members are expressing major concerns regarding the lack of real assessment of the EU ETS for shipping related effects on EU ports. “The measures proposed by the EU Commission i.e., the monitoring and the possibility of a review of the Regulation do not constitute the proper response to real risks of cargo diversion to the benefit of non-EU ports in the Mediterranean and the UK,” said the organizations in a statement.

FEPORT, ETA, EMPA and ECASBA members expect that shipping lines which do not intend to pass on the additional ETS costs to their customers will prefer to call non-EU ports with all implications this will have on employment and economic activity for EU ports. Furthermore, the Fit for 55 objectives to reduce emissions will be circumvented. Once the trade routes are shifted and the regulations are bypassed, it will be very difficult to reverse these detrimental effects.

“We need a real assessment of the impact of ETS for shipping on EU ports to be conducted now and not in two years’ time when cargo will have left some EU ports for good. Port capacities in Southern Mediterranean and other non-EU ports are important, and they will continue to grow. They will represent attractive alternatives for the shipping lines which want to avoid ETS. Do we want to wait for this to happen and investments in EU ports to be put on hold or cancelled?” says FEPORT Secretary General, Lamia Kerdjoudj.

FEPORT, ETA, EMPA and ECASBA are urging the EU Commission to start a study about the impact of EU ETS for shipping now. The terms of reference of the study could consider all solutions that are currently proposed by different port stakeholders to avoid cargo diversion.

The organizations are also calling on the Commission to continue to raise its voice within IMO in favor of a global ETS and concurrently to immediately explore the possibility of concluding bilateral agreements with EU neighboring countries that could adopt legislation similar to ETS and with converging timelines.

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