Brussels, November 30th, 2022
The “Fit for 55” proposals and more particularly AFIR, ETS and Fuel EU were among the topics that were extensively debated during FEPORT General Assembly meeting held in Brussels on November 30th, 2022.
FEPORT is concerned that the geographical scope of EU ETS and FuelEU 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.
The risks of cargo diversion to the advantage to non-EU ones once ETS enters to force are real and once cargo is lost, it is irreversible and almost not possible to attract it again.
FEPORT members welcome 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 and reiterate their call that the EU Commission continuously monitors 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.
It will also be crucial that the EU Commission adopts immediate measures if any impact regarding carbon leakage or cargo diversion is indeed established.
FEPORT members are grateful to many MEPs for their support to the principle of consistency between Fit for 55 proposals and existing ones. We hope that this approach will prevail for all Fit for 55 proposals.
On the revised TEN-T proposal, dialogue with the TRAN rapporteurs MEP Barbara Thaler and MEP Dominique Riquet has been very constructive and FEPORT thanks all MEPs who have initiated inclusive consultations with all stakeholders among which FEPORT. The revised TEN-T proposal is a very important piece of legislation that will set the scene for the future of the EU transport sector and enable the financing of important projects aiming both at finalizing the network and granting it the necessary resilience to face the era of “perma crises” we are entering.
The review of the Consortia BER was another important topic debated during FEPORT General Assembly meeting. The maritime sector and more specifically the liner shipping one has considerably changed these last years, and this has to be acknowledged by regulators in the framework of the ongoing review of the Consortia BER. In this respect, FEPORT expresses its concern on the methodology and approach of the EU Commission.
The exemptions provided by the CBER were formulated long before these digital solutions were even heard of. Consequently, the possible anti-competitive effects of the inclusion of these digital solutions into agreements, which, without these solutions, would benefit from the exemptions of the CBER, should make up an important part of the assessment of these agreements.
Moreover, market definition methods that focus on static patterns of competition disregard the constraints of competition emanating from the dynamic and responsive forces and from the empirical realities at play in the digital economy. Therefore these methods need to shift their focus away from static onto dynamic constraints of competition.
“The denial of the impact of Big Data and Business Intelligence & Analytics systems on the competitive environment within the maritime logistics chain during the previous review of the consortia BER has opened the door to a non-level playing field.” says FEPORT President, Mr Gunther Bonz
‘The tools the European Commission currently possesses for measuring, evaluating and neutralizing anti-competitive conduct were formulated in an era when Big Data and BI&A systems were still a future vision. These tools are far from being sufficiently adequate and effective for dealing with antitrust concerns emanating from these evolutions. Time to adapt the tools has come. Otherwise, trust in the quality of the assessment of the CBER will be seriously and definitely compromised.” adds FEPORT President
“We hope that DG Comp will use all relevant means and methods that may allow to conduct a proper review of the CBER. There is a need to restore trust and a real level playing field within the maritime logistics chain.” concludes FEPORT President
FEPORT calls for a real dialogue with stakeholders and experts to choose the appropriate methodology that will allow the EU Commission to objectively assess the CBER’s effects.
 FEPORT calls for continuous monitoring of ETS and FuelEU impacts on business activity and employment in EU ports
 For a clear explanation, see: Evaluation of the Commission Notice on market definition in EU competition law, comments by Professors Nicolas Petit & Thibault Schrepel, 15 May 2020.
 August Braakman - The Consortia BER: Resurrection by denial :: Lloyd's List (informa.com)
For more information, please contact:
Ms Lamia Kerdjoudj
Secretary General of FEPORT