"Looking to the future"

For all those who evolve in the Brussels microcosm but luckily who live in other EU countries, the end of May 2019 coincides with the time of assessment of the last five years and generates some excitement or anxiety when thinking about the election of the new Parliament and the impact it will have on the appointments of the new Commissioners.

Looking back to what has been achieved during the last five years, European port operators and terminals acknowledge the fact that some pieces of legislation have brought clarity and constitute useful instruments.

This is the case of the Port Services Regulation with respect to transparency and governance in EU ports, the inclusion of provisions in ports in the GBER exempting certain public measures of support to ports from prior notification, the Non Road Mobile Machinery Regulation which aims at phasing out equipment with the most polluting engines and establishing standards for engines placed on the European market and, more recently, the Maritime Single Window Regulation.

FEPORT has particularly welcomed the adoption of the EMSWe (European Maritime Single Window environment) Regulation as it provides a sound basis for reducing the administrative burden on ships whilst also respecting existing investments in reporting channels.

FEPORT strongly believes that the fact that the Regulation remains technology neutral will ensure that potential new systems are not rapidly outdated by new developments, while at the same time ensuring industry does not need to needlessly re-invest in regulatory compliance and can instead focus on innovation and improved services.

The adoption of the EMSWe (European Maritime Single Window environment) Regulation is a good example on how a common EU approach can allow European Logistics chains and businesses to be stronger and more efficient.

There are still strong expectations regarding other files such as the review of the Consortia BER which is a good example of a sectoral instrument which impacts well beyond the beneficiary industry. It is essential that the Regulation is modified to bring more clarity and legal certainty for shipping lines, port service providers and cargo interests. The worst that could happen would be to consider that “price” is the sole indicator to be taken into account when assessing the economic efficiency of the liner shipping industry and its cooperation with its consumers.

The “silo approach” is harming because it ignores the dynamics of different segments of the maritime logistics chain as well as the domino effects and the interdependence that exist between different industries for the worse and the better.

Private port operators and terminals are among the service providers of the liner shipping industry. They need a level playing field when it comes to negotiation with their customers. Joint purchasing of port services by alliances benefiting from the Consortia BER should not be allowed as it creates an unbalanced situation in terms of negotiation.

The purpose of the Consortia should not be to weaken the position of port service providers.

The current lack of clarity of the Consortia BER regarding the do’s and dont’s represents a threat and deserves attention from the Regulator. Cargo handling companies are not ancillary services but economic undertakings which create value and jobs and offer competitive global services.

Those who pretend that European institutions do not bring progress to people and undertakings or who advocate national protectionism to replace the European project are either ignorant or liars because EU policy makers are acting for the general interest. This is particularly true for the pieces of legislation going through the European Union’s democratic co-decision process.

The new Parliament and Commission will have to listen to the voice of the voters who expressed their wishes on the 26th of May. It is crucial to avoid an increasingly harming disenchantment among the European people towards the institutions which represent them.

The EU is the world’s most globally connected region offering free movement for goods, services, capital and persons. It should continue to lead the way and remain an open market for all the non-EU partners who believe in balanced reciprocal trade relationships.


03.05.2019 Study on measures to reduce shipping emissions by 2030

On May 3rd, 2019, a few days ahead of the IMO MEPC meetings dedicated to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, the EU-funded study on the “Methods and Considerations for the Determination of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets for International Shipping” was published by the European Commission.

The study, conducted by CE Delft and UMAS, analysed potential short-term measures included in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s initial strategy and estimated their impact on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships by 2030. The initial IMO strategy commits to improving the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030 and to reduce the total annual emissions by at least 50% by 2050 (compared to 2008 levels). The specific policy measures that can turn these commitments into practice, considered in the study, are those that could enter into force imminently and help to control GHG emissions over the period between now and 2030.

Various proposals by IMO Member States for emission reduction measures have been assessed in the study, including speed limits and the improvement of ship’s operational efficiency, as well as a shaft power limit.

Most proposals were found to be compatible with the IMO’s objectives provided they are sufficiently strict.

The study also considered options for non-mandatory limits that use existing policy (i.e. Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan) to incentivise greater efficiency. However, such non-mandatory limits were deemed ineffective as they would reduce GHG emissions by not more than 2% from the expected business-as-usual levels.

The report also analysed the emissions reduction impacts of further increasing the stringency of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) regulation. Although these changes would not bring about any significant GHG reductions by 2030, they would achieve more impact in the longer term, the study found.

The Delft study also concluded that developing a standard for ship-shore (port call) communication, or a standard for port incentive schemes as well as creating a framework to incentivise the uptake of renewable fuels would reduce CO2 emissions by less than 1% in 2030.

To have access to the study, please click here.


13-14.05.2019 – IMO MEPC 74th Session – London


 IMO MEPC Meeting 1        IMO MEPC Meeting 2 


IMO’s MEPC 74th session has been held from 13th to 17th of May, 2019. The agenda included many topics but the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships was the key agenda item, following up on the initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

The cargo handling community was represented by ICHCA who has a status of observer at IMO.

Ahead of the MEPC meeting, ESPO expressed support to the EU proposal on the exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers). The proposal, which has been submitted by the EU 28 Member States and the European Commission, aims to start the discussion at international level on the discharges from scrubbers into the water, especially in sensitive areas such as ports.

To protect the water quality and to respect the EU standards imposed by the Water Framework Directive, some EU Member States have taken initiatives to limit liquid discharges from scrubbers in port areas.

European port authorities support the European plea for prompt and harmonized action on the basis of scientific evidence available with regard to the impact of liquid discharges from scrubbers on water quality.

Among decisions made during the MEPC : the adoption of the new IMO regulations to strengthen and bring forward the application of the Energy Efficiency Design Index for several different types of new build vessel, including containerships, the agreement of procedures to conduct assessments of the impacts of proposed GHG reduction measures on the economies of IMO Member States and the IMO’s additional guidance to assist smooth implementation of the global sulphur cap on 1 January 2020 and the requirement for ships outside sulphur emission control areas to use fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5% or less.

No final decisions have been taken during the MEPC 74th session regarding mandatory speed limits proposed by France and other countries; some parties having expressed concern that these would dincentivize the take-up of new CO2 reduction technologies.

Other important agenda items of the MEPC included: the adoption of MARPOL amendments to strengthen requirements regarding discharge of high-viscosity substances, such as certain vegetable oils and paraffin-like cargoes; follow-up to the follow up on the IMO Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships; implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention; and approval, for future adoption, of draft amendments to the International Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS), to include controls on the biocide cybutryne.


22-23.05.2019 – Waterborne shipping and ports – Brussels

 On 22 May, FEPORT participated in the Industrial Research Advisory Group on the Waterborne Technology Platform. The Waterborne Technology Platform has been set up as an industry-oriented Technology Platform to establish a continuous dialogue between all waterborne stakeholders, such as classification societies, shipbuilders, shipowners, maritime equipment manufacturers, infrastructure and service providers, universities or research institutes, and with the EU Institutions, including Member States. Amongst other objectives, the platform works to establish a continuous dialogue between all stakeholders in the waterborne transport sector and in other waterborne-related sectors on R&D.

During the Industrial Research Advisory Group meeting, participants discussed funding priorities for Manufacturing, Mobility and Logistics as well as Connectivity, Data acquisition and Management. Of interest to FEPORT in these discussions was topics related to Mobility, Logistics and Integration and Information & Communications technologies.

During the meeting, FEPORT emphasized the need to ensure that R&D funds incentives first movers. First movers into new technologies usually bear most of the costs of innovation and deployment. The role of funding should be to make innovation more attractive and should subsequently focus on cutting edge technologies rather than existing technologies or solutions. FEPORT also stressed that ideally funding should be technology neutral and not prescribe certain technologies on industry.


22-24.05.2019 – ITF OECD – Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue – Leipzig 

For the fourth time since its creation in 2018, the members of the Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue have gathered in Leipzig to resume their exchanges.

The Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue brings together stakeholders from the maritime logistics chain, including representatives from Members States, the shipping sector, shippers, ports, terminals and freight forwarders.


 ITF OECD 1        ITF OECD 2 


The main topic for discussion was performance indicators for the maritime logistics chain.

The maritime logistics chain consists of many different actors with different roles that are highly interdependent. This means that the performance of the individual actors is to an important extent determined by the behaviour of other actors.

There are no comprehensive performance indicators for the maritime logistics chain. Most of the performance indicators that exist focus on part of the maritime logistics chain (e.g. on liner shipping connectivity, schedule reliability, terminal productivity).

Although important, these indicators seen in isolation are only helpful to a limited extent, as they generally do not result in honest exchanges between stakeholders on where collaboration could help to improve maritime logistics chains. In this respect, the only holistic performance indicator that is widely used is the World Bank Logistics Indicator, but it covers logistics as a whole rather than maritime logistics and cannot be used as a sufficiently precise indicator for the efficiency of maritime logistics.

Performance indicators for maritime logistics could provide possibilities for interpretation and improvement. This means that an important part of the indicators would need to deal with the interfaces between the different actors. It also means that the data set should be relatively easy to comprehend and interpret; it should include a limited number of the most significant indicators. Once aggregated at national or supra national level, indicators could be translated into themes that might be relevant for national policies aiming at removing bottlenecks.

Before starting discussions, the ITF Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue moderator, Mr Olaf Merk, invited representatives of Hapag Lloyd, PSA and the Port of Los Angeles to present recent initiatives they have implemented to improve efficiency, performance and communication between the different actors of the maritime logistics chain.

FEPORT and other representatives expressed real interest for the discussion on performance indicators but underlined the importance for metrics not be used defensively but constructively (i.e. as a diagnosis of common challenges that can be solved via collaboration). This is why it will be crucial to agree on the methodology and source of data which should be publicly available or that can be collected fairly easily to conduct the performance assessment.

Participants agreed to meet before the next Global Maritime Logistics Dialogue meeting in Brussels end of November 2019, to agree on working procedures and terms of reference for the working group on performance indicators.


28.05.2019 – TGC – Customs and Debts Guarantees – Leipzig 

On 28 May, FEPORT participated in an expert working group of DG TAXUD which is working on guidelines for the management of customs debts and guarantees under the Union Customs Code. The Union Customs Code requires guarantees for all potential unpaid customs debts, whilst also introducing guarantee waivers and reduced guarantees for trusted traders. The meeting brought together representative from Member States and industry experts.

FEPORT believes that there is a good legal framework in place for customs debts and guarantees, but also recognises that in some instances further guidance is useful. It is expected a European Commission guidance document will be finalised and publicly accessible by the end of 2019.


 Events supported by FEPORT

ICHCA 20 20

Shippers, carriers, ports and terminals, inland operators, regulators, researchers, educators, NGOs, equipment, technology, service providers and all those concerned with the safety, security and sustainability of cargo operations on land and at sea are invited to join ICHCA in the Mediterranean hub port of Malta this 11-14 November to help shape the future.




TOC Europe is one of the world´s leading shipping, ports and terminal events. It attracts manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services to the shipping, ports and terminals industry and presents the latest developments and technologies. Visitors can source the products, ideas, services and technology crucial to their business operations, network with the key players in the shipping, port and terminal industry and keep up-to-date with the latest technologies, innovations and industry developments. TOC Europe incorporates an international technical conference to discuss key industry issues.



FEPORT meetings

13-14.06.2019  General Assembly – Burgas – Bulgaria

19.06.2019       Customs & Logistics Committee – Brussels

20.06.2019       Port Policy Committee - Brussels

19.09.2019       Board of Directors – Brussels

30.09.2019       Social Affairs Committee – Brussels

01.10.2019       Environment, Safety & Security Committee – Brussels

24.10.2019       Port Policy Committee - Brussels

06.11.2019       Customs & Logistics Committee - Brussels

14.11.2019       Board of Directors - Brussels

27.11.2019       General Assembly - Brussels

28.11.2019       Fifth Annual Stakeholders Conference – Brussels


Other meetings

05.06.2019       EU Operators' Forum – Brussels

05.06.2019       European Tugowners' General Assembly – Limassol

12-13.06.2019  European Environmental Ports Conference 2019 – Antwerp

12.06.2019       Social Dialogue for Ports Meeting – Brussels

18-20.06.2019  TOC Conference – Rotterdam

21.06.2019       Mos Conference – Brussels

21.06.2019       Platform for Change – Woment in Transport – Brussels

26-27.06.2019  TIC 4.0 Plenary Meeting – Valencia


FEPORT Newsletter - May 2019