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Private Seaport Operators and Terminals reiterate their call for a continuous monitoring of the future impacts of FuelEU and EU ETS – on business activity and employment in EU ports

FEPORT supports the Fit for 55 proposals as key building blocks to allow the decarbonization of the EU economy towards climate neutrality by 2050, including those proposals aimed at the greening of maritime shipping such as FuelEU Maritime and the EU ETS revision. FEPORT is however concerned that the geographical scope of these pieces of legislation could harm the competitive position of EU seaport terminals, as their extra-EU application means that shipping companies can avoid their financial implications by adding a call to a non-EU port.

As pointed out by academic studies, evasive port calls can already happen at very low carbon prices of €6/MT of CO2 in the case of Algeciras (Spain) and €25/MT in the case of Piraeus.1 FEPORT welcomes the European Parliament’s and the Council’s proposed measures to address this topic in the framework of the trialogue negotiations on FuelEU Maritime and EU ETS.

For instance:
-AM 63 of the EP position on FuelEU Maritime, which requires the EU Commission to continuously monitor cargo diversion at the expense of EU ports, while requiring the Commission to propose legislative measures to address this if any negative impact on EU
ports is established;

– The proposals of the European Parliament and the Council to include a definition of port of call which excludes stops in non-EU (container) transhipment ports, which are ports where transhipment operations constitute more than 60/65% of the total volumes and
are located less than 300 nautical miles outside of the EU.2 In this case, the stops at these ports will not allow shipping companies to avoid the financial consequences of EU ETS.

However, cargo diversion via feeder traffic remains a risk.3 EU ports may lose cargo irreversibly if risks regarding cargo diversion are not adequately monitored and if the EU ETS system is not put in place gradually via a phase-in.

FEPORT therefore recommends that:
1.The scope of ETS and timelines as proposed by the EU Commission and endorsed by the Council are maintained;

2. The EU Commission monitors as of day one impacts regarding carbon leakage as well as cargo diversion at the expense of EU ports, as is currently proposed by Parliament in its position on FuelEU Maritime. Such a monitoring scheme should look at the cumulative impact of both FuelEU and EU ETS and also take into account the effects of the current energy crisis on the competitiveness of EU seaport terminals using electrically propelled equipment;

3. EU Commission adopts immediate measures if any impact regarding carbon leakage or cargo diversion is indeed established. The definition of a non-EU (container) transhipment port could for instance be amended.

FEPORT hopes that the trialogue negotiations will lead to the adoption of provisions that will protect EU port stakeholders from the risks of cargo diversion and their economic and social consequences.
Source: FEPORT

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