edito dec 2021


Gratitude to the unsung heroes

These last two years have been very challenging for all of us and, when we realize that not less than 250 000 persons have been contaminated and 5 million people died, we can only be grateful to be in good health.

Our prayers are for those who passed away. Our fraternal thoughts are for those who lost their beloved or who are facing COVID-19 long term effects. Our solidarity is for those who suffer, who would like to get vaccinated but still have no access to vaccines. Our most grateful thanks go to all those communities and people mobilized to save lives, heal and give support.

The availability of vaccines end of 2020 gave hope to many of us, but the threat will persist as long as we are not all vaccinated. The first wish for 2022 is that more and more people get vaccinated so as to be protected from severe forms of COVID-19.

COVID-19 will probably be part of our lives in the years to come. The pandemic will not end with the virus disappearing. Instead, the optimistic view is that enough people will gain immune protection from vaccination and from natural infection such that there will be less transmission - and much less COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths - even if the virus continues to circulate.

Past pandemics have led to massive changes in the way we live, so much that we came to accept them as normal. Perhaps this year’s most important lessons are that we will not go back to what we knew before, and we must acquire endemic defenses to face future pandemics.

We hear a lot about disruption in the maritime logistics chain, but at this moment of the year, we would like to thank all those who along the supply and logistics chain are acting every day to make sure that we have food in the supermarkets, gifts for Christmas and medicines in pharmacies.

Our gratitude to seafarers, port workers, truck drivers, warehouse workers, rail freight locomotive drivers and to all those who are the unsung heroes of the global economic recovery.


Merry Christmas to you, to your families and beloved ones. Special thoughts for those who are far from their families and for those in confinement.

 May 2022 bring us Positive News, Good Health and Peace.




25.11.2021  CLECAT’s Freight Forwarders’ Forum 2021

On the 25th of November, CLECAT held its online annual Freight Forwarders’ Forum entitled “Building Sustainable & Resilient Supply Chains”.

clecat forum 2021

After the welcoming speech given by Mr Willem van der Schalk, President of CLECAT, the floor was given to Ms Magda Kopczynska, Director Waterborne Transport at DG MOVE, who stressed the ever-growing importance of close cooperation between policy makers and businesses in order to counteract unprecedented events. Moreover, she underlined the importance of well-functioning logistics and transport networks and recognized their role in achieving the EU’s ambitious climate agenda.

During the first session, the findings of the report “Brave New World – Container transport in 2043” were presented. The report from 2018 outlined multiple scenarios for the container shipping industry and analyzed how the industry may ensure value creation over the next 25 years based on differing perceptions of likely trade growth and the impact of digitalization. In regard to the increase of ship sizes, the question was raised whether bigger ships create value since they are adding costs to other actors of the supply chain, for instance ports, terminals and logistics operators.

The second panel focused on the role of platforms in the international supply chain and debated whether this is a threat or an opportunity for the industry, while the third session focused on the role of first movers on the pathway towards zero-emission logistics and how they can encourage other companies to join them on this road of decarbonization.

Source: CLECAT


26.11.2021 Motorways of the Sea Forum

The Motorways of the Sea Digital Forum took place on the 26th of November 2021. During the event, panelists gave presentations on a variety of topics, such as energy transition, digitalization, and sustainable infrastructure.

mos forum

CINEA took the floor to give an overview of the CEF calls for 2021. Regarding the maritime and inland waterway cluster, it was said that the Commission will support maritime port projects on the Core and Comprehensive Networks that have as objective:

  • The facilitation of port access.
  • The construction of basic port infrastructure with a priority on:
    • development of zero- or low emission multimodal solutions.
    • development of capacity and facilities linked to offshore wind farms.
    • improving the connectivity of remote, insular and outermost regions, or of Member States with no land border with another Member State.
  • Shore-side electricity supply.
  • Port reception facilities for waste from ships.
  • Ensuring year-round navigability.
  • Rail/road connections within the port.

During the event, two interesting projects from Antwerp and Marseille were presented in regards to the energy transition and the ambition of the two ports to energy hubs.


30.11.2021 FEPORT General Assembly

FEPORT calls for a real factual debate with respect to the causes of the current disruption in the maritime logistics chain

During their General Assembly meeting held on November 30th, 2021, FEPORT members discussed the current 5th wave of the COVID-19 and its effects on the maritime logistics chain. They have also commented the heavy pressure on EU ports resulting from some problematic practices as well as disruptive events that have taken place in 2021 (lasting low vessel schedule reliability, cancellation of calls, Suez blockade, Chinese ports’ closure, shortage of truck drivers and chassis in non-EU ports, etc.).

The recent debate about international congestion during the Plenary meeting of the European Parliament[1] has shown that MEPs are interested in understanding the real causes of disruption and congestion in ports. They are requesting accurate information, facts and figures to avoid drawing wrong conclusions.

Indeed, it is regrettable that congestion in ports is very easily brought as the main cause for the current disruption and that the situation prevailing in ports outside the EU leads to generalization about European ports. This is not very fair towards port companies and terminals and their workers, who have deployed tremendous efforts to keep most European ports open 24/7 since the outbreak of COVID-19, thus allowing goods to reach the shelves of supermarkets.

2020 and 2021 have been very testing years for our operations in European ports. The impacts of COVID-19, low vessel schedule reliability, compounded by the incident in the Suez Canal, the closure of Chinese terminals and the resulting congestion in parts of the world have disrupted supply chains. Nevertheless, European ports terminals have remained operational while struggling with deteriorating vessel schedule reliability” states Mr Gunther Bonz, FEPORT President.

In early 2020, the pandemic initially resulted in a decline in ship arrivals, but there was a rebound in the second half of 2020 along with a slight increase in the median time that ships were spending in port.

As mentioned in the recent UNCTAD review of maritime transport[2], despite the constraints related to COVID-19 on labor organization, median time in port in 2020 changed by 2.9% compared to 2019. This translates into a change of operational time of around half an hour, negligible compared to the weeks of voyage times of most ships.

The figures regarding schedule reliability before and since the outbreak of COVID-19 are by far more problematic. According to new data from Sea-Intelligence[3], two out ever three vessels were behind schedule with the number of days delayed also remaining at the highest levels.

On a year-over-year basis, schedule reliability in September 2021 was down 22 percentage points. For the whole of 2021, Sea-Intelligence reports that schedule reliability has been in a range of 34 to 40 percent.




“The low vessel schedule reliability, which was already a very problematic trend before COVID-19, as well as last minute cancellations of calls, are putting more and more pressure on port stakeholders as ports are the place where all inefficiencies of the maritime logistics chain appear. Ports cannot be the buffer which absorbs all those inefficiencies and they certainly do not deserve simplistic generalizations” concludes FEPORT President.

FEPORT reiterates its call to have constructive discussions based on facts and figures with representatives from EU institutions to identify the real causes of the current disruption in the maritime logistics chain.

[1] Procedure File: 2021/2980(RSP) | Legislative Observatory | European Parliament (europa.eu)
[2] Review of Maritime Transport 2021 | CNUCED (unctad.org)
[3] Sea-Intelligence - Schedule reliability still very poor in September 2021


30.11.2021 UIRR Summit 2021

On the 30th of November, the European Intermodal Summit 2021 took place and participants discussed the state of the art in European intermodal transport in three sections: energy and labor efficiency, decarbonization, and standardization and digitalization.

During the Summit, the Mobility and Transport Leader of d-fine Consultants, Dr Thorsten Sickenberger, presented the results of the UIRR commissioned study on the carbon footprint and energy efficiency performance of door-to-door Combined Transport.

cactus final report

According to the study, today’s door-to door intermodal transport chains use 40-70% less energy per ton-kilometer than their unimodal trucking alternatives, while emitting 60-90% fewer carbon dioxide in the process. Besides, zero-carbon door-to-door Combined Transport is around the corner, as it does not depend on scientific breakthroughs.

Moreover, UIRR President, Mr Ralf-Charley Schultze, announced the CT for Europe (CT4EU) campaign as the final act of the European Intermodal Summit 2021. This communication exercise will highlight the capabilities and performance of Combined Transport, how it can contribute to solving the dilemmas of our times: the energy crisis, the truck driver shortage and the decarbonization of transport. CT4EU will accompany the legislative process and bring together intermodal stakeholders to address the Brussels bubble as well as Member States, and regional and local policymakers.

Source: UIRR


01.12.2021 FEPORT Sixth Annual Stakeholders’ Conference

On December 1st, FEPORT held the sixth edition of its Annual Stakeholders’ Conference. The conditions were very particular this year, but we were extremely grateful to the speakers and guests who joined us either in Brussels or remotely.

We did not want to “skip” 2021 as we were compelled to do for the 2020 edition due to the pandemic, and the outcome of this 6th edition confirmed that it was worth doing so.

Many thanks to all speakers for their time, sharing their thoughts and providing us with valuable insights.

Thank you to the representatives of our sister organizations who were also with us in Brussels. A particular thanks to Anna Maria Darmanin for the moderation of the first session.

save the date 2

Consensus was voiced by speakers that the maritime logistics chain had shown itself to be very resilient and had responded well to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

However, vulnerabilities had also been exposed due to other factors and, as such, the sector will have to ponder on the real causes of the current disruption to implement change and remain resilient in the face of such future possible crises.

The question was also raised as to whether a level playing field was in place and there were calls for the Commission to consider this issue in detail, particularly with regard to the Block Exemption Regulation, given the backdrop of increased costs in freight shipping and the high level of market concentration.

One can agree that it is not the role of the regulator to intervene when disruptions occur in the market provided that these cannot find their root causes in the existing regulatory framework, which does not effectively guarantee a level playing field.

Comparing to 2020 when COVID-19 seemed to have a limited tangible impact on global supply chains, 2021 was completely different as supply shortages of certain products were very real.

The last two years had been challenging for other additional issues, such as labor shortages, a decline in vessel calls and hinterland transport delays and the number of ships at anchorage has been increasing, thereby putting strain on the entire system. This trend would only be exacerbated going forward as vertical and horizontal integration would only increase, and this would most likely push smaller players out the market.

Looking forward, four potential disruptors of the market: environmental, technological, geopolitical and demand (demographics) are expected to also have a significant impact. The market is becoming ever more complex and, across the board, there was a push towards investing in sustainable outcomes. This was putting increased pressure on technology and innovation and uptake was being seen in the form of large digitization programs.

Production of goods like textiles and the car industry were continually being brought back to Turkey and Morocco and it happens that Chinese manufacturers were also investing a lot in Eastern Europe and thus near-shoring is happening.

It is also expected that the EU emissions trading system (ETS) will have a big impact on the connectivity of Europe.

Panelists also stated that largescale change in the sector was also required to keep pace with both the digital and green transformations. In this regard, adequate financing from both the public and private sectors would be required, particularly when it comes to meeting decarbonization targets.

Further issues facing the sector identified included the fact that many seafarers are currently reconsidering their careers and thus better prospects are needed to avoid a potential labor shortage, and the need to seek solutions at a global level given the globalized nature of the modern maritime logistics chain.

COVID-19 has in many ways exacerbated tensions between the US, EU and China and highlighted the vulnerabilities of economies and the dependencies on global supply chains.

On the environmental front, the Chinese government seems more willing to engage in the debate on climate change. The EU and the US have also launched infrastructure initiatives and, last year, the ‘Build Back Better initiative’ was announced by Mr Biden. The Commission is currently announcing its ‘Global Gateway’ instrument and, though the EU and US have a different strategic interests, there could be some common cooperation.

You can have access to the Conference recording, to the extensive version of the Conference report, to the speakers’ presentations and pictures on the webpage of the conference.


01.12.2021 EU Commission launches Global Gateway

On the 1st of December, the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy launched the Global Gateway, the EU’s €300 billion alternative to China's Belt and Road initiative.

The aim of the EU program is to help underpin the global recovery by mobilizing investments in digital solutions, clean energy and transport networks, as well as boosting health, education and research systems across the world.

global gateway

Global Gateway will draw on the new financial tools in the EU multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027. The initiative will be financed by a mix of €18 billion in grants and €280 billion in investments from Member States, their development banks, the private sector and EU financing bodies, including the European Investment Bank, the European Commission said in a statement.

Further adding to its financial tool kit, the EU is exploring the possibility of establishing a European Export Credit Facility to complement the existing export credit arrangements at Member State level and increase the EU’s overall firepower in this area.

Global Gateways’ investment priorities are the following:

  1. Digitalization

The European Union will invest in fiber optic cables between countries, satellite communications and cloud infrastructure to better facilitate global cooperation, data sharing and AI development. The EU toolbox for the cybersecurity of 5G networks will guide investments in digital infrastructure. These will also be linked with standards and protocols that support network security and resilience, interoperability, and an open, plural and secure internet.

  1. Clean energy

The Commission plans to work with partner countries that have the potential to develop their renewable hydrogen production and promote the creation of competitive markets to enable such hydrogen produced outside the EU to be traded internationally without export restrictions or price distortions. It will also work with partner countries to invest in infrastructure for developing sustainable and resilient raw materials value chains.

  1. Transport

Global Gateway will promote worldwide infrastructure investments that create sustainable, smart, resilient, inclusive, and safe transport networks in all modes of transport, including ports, logistics and border-crossing points. It will implement transport infrastructure projects that foster the sustainable development of partner countries and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as enable the diversification of their supply chains. Global Gateway will also seek to build on the EU’s position as the world’s transportation hub.

Global Gateway will foster convergence with European or international technical, social, environmental and competition standards, reciprocity in market access and a level playing field in the area of transport infrastructure planning and development. It will serve to enhance the recharging and refueling infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles and foster the supply of renewable and low-carbon fuels. It will serve to strengthen aviation and maritime links with key partners, while also setting new standards to enhance environmental and social sustainability, create fair competition and reduce emissions in those sectors.

  1. Health

In response to the pandemic, the new EU plan aims to help countries develop local vaccine manufacturing capacity and diversify their pharmaceutical supply chains.

  1. Education and research

The European Union wants to further invest in education globally, including the expansion of online learning.

To conclude, Global Gateway and the US initiative Build Back Better World should mutually reinforce each other, as the EU and the United States express their shared commitment to addressing climate crisis through infrastructure development that is clean, resilient and consistent with a net-zero future.


01.12.2021 TRAN presentation on the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport

On the 1st of December, the Commission presented to the TRAN Committee the FuelEU Maritime proposal.

The Rapporteur on the file, MEP Jörgen Warborn, welcomed the Commission proposal but voiced his concerns regarding the proposal’s possible loopholes and negative consequences. During his intervention, MEP Warborn underlined the necessity to balance all the interests at stake and focused on two main topics: LNG and OPS. Firstly, he stressed the transitional role of LNG, an important bridge technology capable of reducing Co2 emissions and suitable for blending with traditional fuels without the need to retrofit vehicles engines.

mep joergen warborn

Regarding OPS, he reiterated his support in further deploying OPS, but also warned his colleagues regarding the risks of making this technology mandatory in all situations. Therefore, he asked the Commission if it would not be preferable to ensure its deployment only where it is useful.

As Shadow Rapporteur, MEP Vera Tax took the floor stating that she had already spoken to many stakeholders which have concerns regarding this legislation. Firstly, she stated that the Commission should make sure to address the issue of competition distortion between EU and non-EU ports when it comes to fuel bunkering. Secondly, she criticized the complexity of the rules regarding the certification of green fuels full life cycle for both users and suppliers of marine energy.

From the Commission side, Mr Sandro Santamato gave a presentation regarding the maritime sector’s targets to reduce emissions by 90% by 2050. The sector will be required to take significant action on both energy efficiency and use of cleaner types of energy. The Commission believes there is a need for measures to address all aspects of production, distribution and demand, which are already partly covered in the RED and AFIR.

The goal of the proposal is to complement the inclusion of maritime transport in the EU ETS and to provide regulatory predictability. Mr Santamato mentioned that - in parallel to the proposal for Fuel EU the EU submitted to the IMO a similar proposal that garnered some support and was also co-sponsored by the United States.

Regarding OPS, the Commission considers it to be a mature technology and is looking into the question of its deployment.


08.12.2021 Waterborne and intermodal transport organizations call for more consistency between “Fit for 55” proposals


i am joint contribution

Twelve associations representing different segments of the transport and logistics sector welcome the European Commission’s Fit for 55 proposals as a key step to reach the EU’s enhanced climate goals for 2030. The associations consider that the proposals are a necessary building block to turn the climate targets of the EU Green Deal into concrete policy actions and to bring about the greening of waterborne transport.

The associations reiterate their call for a meaningful dialogue with the EU institutions in view of adopting an ambitious and smart set of rules that will reinforce the leading role of the EU in terms of decarbonization whilst preserving Europe’s competitiveness.

The “Fit for 55” proposals constitute an interesting basis of work. They do however also require more finetuning and more importantly a more holistic and balanced approach as well as consistency with other EU policies, in particular the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

Through this contribution, the associations seek to draw attention to some elements of the proposals that lack clarity or can be a source of confusion or contradiction.

  • Onshore Power Supply (OPS)

Total or partial tax exemptions

The FuelEU Maritime Regulation imposes requirements on ships to connect to onshore power supply (OPS) by 2030 and the AFI Regulation contains targets for infrastructure deployment in TEN-T core and comprehensive maritime ports. The undersigned associations welcome the aim of these proposals to regulate both the supply and demand for OPS.

In view of these targets, it is welcomed that the Energy Taxation Directive revision proposal (see article 15.5) allows for total or partial tax exemptions for electricity provided to vessels at berth. This could encourage vessel operators to increase the uptake of OPS already before it becomes mandatory by 2030.

A mandatory total exemption for electricity across all Member States, however, would produce better results. The lower the price of connecting, the higher the likelihood that vessel operators will opt for this clean solution. Applying a more harmonized tax rate across the EU is also crucial in view of ensuring a Level Playing Field between EU ports.

Furthermore, if the EU really wishes to increase the deployment of OPS infrastructure, the majority of investments should be public. It is for private companies in the current context difficult to make investment decisions, as, in view of the uncertainty that still exists regarding the pathways to decarbonization for the waterborne transport sector, return on investment remains very uncertain.

The associations also believe that there is a need to continue guaranteeing technology neutrality as this is a key enabler of innovation. The list of zero-emission technologies besides OPS allowed by the FuelEU Maritime Regulation should therefore be reviewed and made future proof.

Finally, consistency between the various Fit For 55 proposals and alignment of these proposals with other EU policies is a crucial prerequisite for a successful implementation of OPS. As already mentioned, a tax exemption will most likely stimulate demand and strengthen the business case thereby helping port stakeholders to meet the deployment targets of the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation proposal.

The need for consistency between Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) and FuelEU Maritime is even more important. The associations believe that the OPS infrastructure deployment targets of AFIR can only be realistically met if the user requirements of FuelEU Maritime are not watered down and vice versa.

  • Carbon leakage

Distortion of competition should also be addressed in the wider maritime and logistics sector, not only in those sectors covered by the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

The EU Commission seeks to phase out allowances for various sectors covered by the EU ETS that are more than others subject to international competition and hence carbon leakage and proposes to apply a carbon levy to imports in those sectors instead.[1]

The rationale behind this approach is welcomed as it incentivizes sectors to reduce their emissions by eliminating free allowances while it protects them from carbon leakage by introducing a levy on imports based on their carbon content.

The associations call on the Commission to take a similar approach when it comes to ports and ships, i.e., to push sectors to reduce emissions while addressing the risk of carbon leakage.

With the EU ETS Directive proposal, the maritime sector will need to progressively surrender allowances for half of the emissions on extra-EU voyages. At the same time, FuelEU Maritime will impose GHG intensity limits to half of the energy consumed on extra-EU voyages.

This application of FuelEU and EU ETS to extra-EU traffic calling or departing from EU ports, could probably make routes towards and calls at non-EU ports in, for example, the UK, Russia or the Maghreb more attractive from a financial point of view. This way the competitiveness of the EU maritime sector would be harmed, without actually reaching emission reductions.

For shortsea shipping, this approach will mean an additional competitive constraint compared to less sustainable transport options and would thus be in contradiction with the European Commission’s mobility policies.

In the context of CBAM, it will be equally important to carefully minimize any impacts of the current proposal on the competitiveness of European industries exposed to global competition.

Therefore, as EU ETS and FuelEU Maritime are being implemented, the EU should at the same time introduce measures to prevent carbon leakage and a loss of competitiveness in the maritime sector.

The associations appreciate that the EU is calling on other regions to propose initiatives similar to the EU, but this may not be sufficient to avoid carbon leakage in the short to medium term.

  • Revenues from “Fit for 55” proposals

Revenues raised through the various “Fit for 55” proposals should be used to support emissions’ reductions by industry

It is to be supported that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Directive proposal mentions that part of the revenues raised by the auctioning of allowances should flow to the Innovation Fund and cover investments aimed at decarbonizing the maritime transport sector, such as sustainable alternative fuels or zero-emissions propulsion technologies.[2] It is also a positive signal that parts of the revenues collected via penalties under the FuelEU Maritime Regulation will flow to the Innovation Fund and could support “common projects aimed at the rapid deployment of renewable and low carbon fuels in the maritime sector”[3].

The undersigned associations, however, would like an even clearer commitment of EU policy makers through a guarantee that the funds raised via FuelEU Maritime and the EU ETS will be used to green the maritime transport sector, which includes investments into port infrastructure and, if necessary, superstructure as well.

The above principle should apply to all parts of the transport sector. Terminal operators and inland shipping, for example, should be able to receive the revenues coming from the implementation of the Energy Taxation Directive to be used for innovation projects aimed at achieving emission reductions or for retrofits or fleet replacement programs in order to move from diesel-based equipment to greener alternatives.

  • LNG and other transitional fuels

Recognize the transitional role of LNG in all the “Fit for 55” proposals and other EU climate-related legislation

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFI) Regulation compels Member States to ensure that by 1 January 2025, sufficient LNG refueling points are in place to allow seagoing ships to circulate throughout the TEN-T core network.

In other words, the AFI Regulation still assigns an important role to LNG in the short- to medium-term. This is the correct approach since, as shown by recent orders by shipping companies of LNG vessels, LNG will likely remain a relevant alternative for the shipping market in the near future. Moreover, many port stakeholders already made significant investments in view of the requirements spelled out in the AFI Directive of 2014.

At the same time however, it should be prevented that port stakeholders need to provide LNG refueling points where there is no return on investment. The AFI Regulation should therefore follow an approach where the provision of LNG infrastructure is still allowed for, but no requirements are imposed in the absence of demand from the shipping side.

At the same time, the uptake of LNG should be stimulated through tax measures, by retaining it as a transitional fuel under the Energy Taxation Directive.

The undersigned associations support an approach towards decarbonization that, at least in the short- and medium-term, also includes the use of low carbon fuels.

  • Impact assessments of the Fit for 55 proposals

Provide proper analyses on the impact of proposals

By changing tax rates through the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) revision and by including new segments of the transport sector (maritime and road) into EU ETS, the prices of passenger and freight transport for each transport mode will inevitably change. The impact of this should not be a modal shift towards less sustainable transport options.

The associations note that a proper analysis on the impact of the ETS on the European maritime logistics supply chain is missing in the impact assessment and also call for an overarching assessment on the cumulative impact of the Fit for 55-package on greenhouse gas emissions and the competitiveness of the European waterborne, port and logistics sector.

[1] The CBAM will apply to the following sectors: Cement, electricity, fertilisers, iron and steel, and aluminium
[2] See recital 33 of the EU ETS proposal
[3] See article 21 of the FuelEU Maritime Regulation proposal


08.12.2021 US House passes bill to strengthen shipping supply chain

By a vote of 364 to 60, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 (OSRA), a bipartisan bill designed to strengthen shipping supply chains. 

Introduced in August, this bill gives the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) the power to impose “minimum service standards that meet the public interest” on ocean carrier service contracts. This bill also shifts the burden of proof in regulatory proceedings from shippers to the container lines. 

It also establishes reciprocal trade as part of the FMC’s mission, including mandating that ocean carriers cannot decline export cargo if the containers can be loaded safely and within a reasonable time frame.

Among others, new powers are given to the FMC in overseeing the ocean carriers, the legislation:

  • Updates requirements on ocean carriers to incorporate best practices in the shipping industry.
  • Requires ocean common carriers or marine terminal operators to certify that any demurrage or detention charge complies with FMC regulations. If not, they can face penalties.
  • Limits exemptions for marine terminal operators for any terminal detention or demurrage charges if such charges are based on public port tariffs set under state law.
  • Effectively codifies the FMC’s Interpretive Rule on Demurrage and Detention Under the Shipping Act and obligates ocean carriers to adhere to minimum service standards that meet the public interest, determined by the FMC in new required rulemaking.
  • Requires ocean carriers or marine terminal operators to maintain all records regarding invoiced demurrage or detention charges for at least five years and provide such records to the FMC or the invoiced party on request.

In addition, the legislation allows third parties to challenge anti-competitive agreements in FMC complaints and establishes a new process for addressing demurrage and detention complaints, giving the FMC a more active role in investigating them.

The bipartisan legislation will now move to the U.S. Senate, where lawmakers are preparing a companion bill they say will be introduced soon.

Source: Lloyd’s List, American Shipper, The Hill


08.12.2021 6th DTLF Plenary meeting

On the 8th of December, FEPORT attended the 6th Plenary meeting of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum. The meeting allowed for updates about the DTLF work on from the industry side, while the EU Commission also provided an overview regarding relevant policy developments.

The rapporteurs of DTLF Sub-group 1 on electronic transport information and Sub-group 2 on corridor information systems gave a presentation about their sub-group’s progress reports. Furthermore, the different Teams falling under the two sub-groups provided an overview of their work.

The EU Commission gave a presentation about the eFTI implementation process and the Digital Europe Programme.


10.12.2021 EU DAGs exchange with DG Trade

On the 10th of December, FEPORT participated to the EU DAG exchange with Mr Peter Sandler, Director for Enforcement, Market Access, SMEs, Legal Affairs and Technology at DG Trade, on the Annual Report on implementation and enforcement.

The Report presents the impact of the most economically significant EU trade agreements and actions put in place by the Commission to eliminate trade and investment barriers in third country markets. It contains information on activities undertaken by the Commission in partnership with Member States under the Market Access Strategy to improve market access and help SMEs to make the most of EU trade agreements and explains how the Commission works with civil society. It also reports on trade enforcement actions taken by the Commission under the dispute settlement mechanisms of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in bilateral trade agreements and under the EU’s Trade Barrier Regulation. Finally, the Report provides statistical data on trade and investment for the 37 main EU trade agreements for 2020 (goods) and 2019 (services) and covers significant developments up to the end of the second quarter of 2021.

The Report covers four priority areas in implementation and enforcement:

  1. Making full use of the opportunities provided by EU trade agreements (section II).
  2. Supporting the take-up of trade agreements by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (section III).
  3. Addressing barriers and finding solutions (section IV).
  4. Bilateral and multilateral enforcement of trade commitments: Resolving Disputes (section V).

The Report also enumerates the main results on barrier removal in 2020:

  • 33 barriers were removed in 22 countries.
  • European companies could export an additional € 5.4 billion thanks to barriers eliminated between 2014 and 2019.
  • The Commission launched “Single Entry Point”, a dedicated complaints office to steer and support stakeholders, who want to lodge complaints on market access, TSD or GSP.
  • Trade Barriers Regulation saw the initiation of 2 investigations regarding Saudi Arabia (ceramic tiles) and Mexico (tequila), both completed in 2021.

As the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement only entered into force on 1 May 2021 (provisionally applied as of 1 January), it will be covered by the 2022 edition of this Report.


10.12.2021 – FEPORT welcomes the new TEN-T Proposal

On the 14th of December, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal for the revision of Regulation (EU) 1315/2013 – Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) with the aim of modernizing the EU’s transport system by increasing connectivity and shifting more freight to rail and inland waterways, supporting the roll-out of charging points, alternative refueling infrastructure, and new digital technologies.

The TEN-T revision thus aims at reaching four main objectives:

  1. Make transport greener by providing the appropriate infrastructure.
  2. Facilitate seamless and efficient transport, fostering multimodality and interoperability, removing bottlenecks and missing links.
  3. Increase the resilience of the TEN-T network to climate change and other natural hazards or human-made disasters.
  4. Improve the efficiency of the TEN-T governance tools.

ten t 2

FEPORT congratulates the EU Commission for the revised version which pays attention to several topics brought up by FEPORT during the Consultation exercise.

Moreover, the text also recognizes the fundamental role that maritime ports play as cross-border multimodal nodes, serving not only as transport hubs, but also as gateways for trade, industrial clusters and energy hubs, for example with regards to the deployment of off-shore wind installations. The proposal also acknowledges that short sea shipping can make a substantial contribution to the decarbonization of transport by carrying more freight and passengers.

ten t 1

Regarding the maritime sector, Section 3 enumerates the conditions for maritime ports to be part of the comprehensive network and the infrastructure requirements for both the core and comprehensive network.

Concerning the infrastructure requirements for the core network, Member States shall ensure that the maritime transport infrastructure of the core network complies with and meets the requirements set out in Article 25(2) by 31 December 2030.

Concerning the infrastructure requirements for the comprehensive network, Member States shall ensure that:

  1. Alternative fuels infrastructure is deployed in maritime ports of the comprehensive network in full compliance with the requirements of the AFI Regulation.
  2. Maritime ports of the comprehensive network are equipped with the necessary infrastructure to improve the environmental performance of ships in ports, […].
  3. VTMIS and SafeSeaNet are implemented in accordance with Directive 2002/59/EC.
  4. Maritime national single windows are implemented in accordance with the Regulation (EU) 2019/1239.

Member States shall ensure that, by 31 December 2050:

  1. Maritime ports of the comprehensive network will be connected with the rail and road infrastructure and, where possible, inland waterways, except where specific geographic or significant physical constraints prevent such connection.
  2. Any maritime port of the comprehensive network that serves freight traffic offers at least one multimodal freight terminal which is open to all operators and users in a non-discriminatory way and which applies transparent and non-discriminatory charges.
  3. Sea canals, port fairways and estuaries connect to seas, or provide access from the sea to maritime ports and connect at least to inland waterways that meet the requirements of Article 22.
  4. Maritime ports of the comprehensive network connected to inland waterways are equipped with dedicated handling capacity for inland waterway vessels.

In the coming weeks, FEPORT members will analyze the proposed text before starting constructive discussions with representatives of the EU institutions on some provisions and the ways and means to enhance them.



Members' News Corner

14.12.2021 Commission clears acquisition of syncreon by DP World

On the 14th of December, the Commission published in the Official Journal of the European Union its decision not to oppose the notified acquisition by DP World of sole control of syncreon Newco B.V. (syncreon) and to declare the concentration compatible with the internal market.

This decision is based on Article 6(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (1).

Source: European Commission




FEPORT meetings

13.01.2021                Customs and Logistics Committee – Remote

18.01.2021                Social Affairs Committee – Remote

27.01.2021                Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Remote

10.02.2022               Board of Directors – Brussels

23.02.2021                Port Policy Committee – Remote

14.04.2022               Board of Directors – Remote

26.04.2021                Social Affairs Committee – Brussels

03.05.2021                Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Brussels

18.05.2021                 Customs and Logistics Committee – Brussels

19.05.2021                 Port Policy Committee – Brussels

08.09.2022               Board of Directors – Brussels

06.10.2021                 Environment, Safety and Security Committee – Brussels

18.10.2021                 Social Affairs Committee – Brussels

20.10.2021                 Customs and Logistics Committee – Brussels

10.11.2022                 Board of Directors – Remote

24.11.2021                  Port Policy Committee – Brussels


Institutional meetings

10.01.2021                  FISC Committee Meeting – Brussels

13.01.2021                  ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels

13.01.2021                  ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels

24-25.01.2021            ECON Committee Meeting – Brussels

26-26.01.2021            ENVI Committee Meeting – Brussels


Other meetings

24.01.2022                  Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Hybrid

01-03.02.2022            EuroMaritime Salon – Marseille

10-11.02.2022             Shipping 4.0 – Naples-Genoa

08-09.03.2022            CTAC Conference – London

24-27.05.2022             ETF Congress – Budapest

02-04.06.2022            UNIM GA – Saint-Malo

09.06.2022                  Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Brussels

23.11.2022                    Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports meeting – Brussels



FEPORT Newsletter - December 2021