Tag Archive for: ESPO

European ports welcome agreement on the European Maritime Single Window environment

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the agreement reached on 7 February between the Parliament and the Council on the new regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). With the new framework, which will repeal the current Reporting Formalities Directive, important steps are made towards reducing administrative burden and increasing the attractiveness of maritime transport. It provides for the creation of a EMSWe dataset, harmonised National Single Windows and the application of the reporting-only-once principle.

We see the agreement as a real breakthrough on this very technical but important matter for the maritime and logistics sector. The outcome provides clear engagements towards administrative simplification and a more efficient supply chain. We are very happy that the new framework is recognizing the bottom-up efforts and investments already made and underway by European ports towards creating a one-stop shop for both the reporting formalities and all other services rendered to stakeholders in the logistics chain. The agreement is thus fully compliant with the ambitious digitalisation agenda of many European ports. We would like to thank and congratulate the Parliament – in particular, the rapporteur, Deirdre Clune and the shadow rapporteurs -, the Romanian Presidency and the Commission for their constructive approach in reaching an agreement”, says Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO.

ESPO supports the following decisions:

  • Ensuring that the same data sets can be reported in the same way: For European ports, the first priority is to simplify administrative procedures by ensuring that the same data sets can be reported to each competent authority in the same way. ESPO therefore welcomes the emphasis in the new regulation on ensuring that the same data sets can be reported to each National Single Window in the same way by creating a EMSWe maximum dataset. The need to take into account the work carried out at international level is fully backed by ESPO.
  • Asking additional data remain possible in exceptional circumstances: ESPO is very pleased to see that the final text is giving the possibility to Member States to ask in the event of exceptional circumstances, for additional data, for a limited period of time, without having to ask the permission of the Commission.
  • Respect for the existing reporting systems: Moreover, European ports very much support the fact that the new regulation is building on the existing reporting systems, the National Single Windows and Port Community Systems (PCS). It is of paramount importance that ports and shipping lines who are currently working with a PCS as a one-stop-shop for both the reporting formalities and all other services rendered to stakeholders in the logistics chain will be able to continue to do so in the future.
  • Technological neutrality: ESPO is happy to see that technological neutrality is explicitly referred to as the basis for the European Maritime Single Window environment and agrees that the Commission should closely follow the latest technological developments, when providing updates to the reporting interface modules for the National Single Windows.
  • Providing the National Single Windows with a governance dimension: Finally, ESPO also welcomes the new provisions in the agreement on requiring Member States to designate a competent national authority for the National Single Windows with a clear legal mandate. This provides the National Single Window with a governance dimension, giving it the competence to store and redistribute data to the respective authorities.

The agreement reached must now be further formalised by the Council and the Parliament and is expected to apply as from 2025 (six years after the entry into force).

Source: European Sea Ports Organisation Press Release

ESPO calls for more ambition on the harmonisation of data – European Maritime Single Window

ESPO welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment (COM2018 278 final). For European ports though, reducing the administrative burden in maritime transport and facilitating trade is a top priority. ESPO wants more ambition on the harmonisation of data definitions and data sets, while maintaining the existing reporting systems. This would further reduce the administrative burden and would facilitate trade. This is the guiding principle of ESPO’s position paper in response to the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment which was published on 17 May.

For European ports, the first priority should be to simplify administrative procedures by ensuring that the same data sets can be reported to each competent authority in the same way. In this context, ESPO welcomes the establishment of a harmonised data set. However, there is still work to be conducted to define the data set in detail – both data elements and data definitions. At the same time, ESPO agrees with the proposal to allow Member States to introduce or amend data requirements as in some cases ports might need to ask additional data to respond to exceptional circumstances. In that respect, this flexibility should also be extended to individual competent authorities.

ESPO in particular welcomes that the proposal builds upon the existing National Single Windows, while also allowing the reporting to be carried out through the Port Community Systems (PCS). The proposal rightly acknowledges the well functioning of PCS’s and the investments already made. European ports highlight that any solution should be technology neutral and should focus on data harmonisation.

Furthermore, a governance mechanism for the National Single Window should be established giving it the competence to store and redistribute data to the respective authorities. Otherwise, the proposal would not result in trade facilitation and simplification, but would just shift the burden from the ship side to the competent authorities.

Finally, ESPO considers the “reporting once principle” a valid means to achieve the objectives of the proposal, provided that it covers the re-use of data that do not change between subsequent port calls and takes into consideration the limited amount of data to be reused between authorities at a given port call.

“We appreciate that the proposal acknowledges to a large extent and builds upon the current reporting environment in maritime transport. Across the sector there is a strong wish to simplify and reduce the administrative barriers. We can however not ignore the mandatory reporting obligations shipping, ports and other authorities need to comply with by national, European and international law. We believe that working on harmonised data standards is the only way forward to make the reporting more efficient. Common standards are far more important than harmonised systems. Technology is moving fast. We need a legislative framework that allows the use of already well functioning systems and the uptake of new technologies. A reporting environment should not undermine the ongoing digitalisation processes, and encourage the uptake of new solutions in a technology neutral way,” says ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

The proposal is currently being discussed in the Council and the European Parliament. MEP Deirdre Clune (Ireland/PPE) has been appointed as rapporteur in the Transport committee. ESPO looks forward to working with the Parliament’s rapporteurs and the shadow rapporteurs, the Austrian Presidency, the Council and the Commission in view of achieving a new and efficient legislative framework that would further reduce the administrative burden in maritime transport and facilitate trade.

Source: ESPO Press Release

ESPO publishes its position paper on the port reception facilities for ship waste

For European ports, ship waste has been one of the main environmental priorities, as indicated in the ESPO 2017 Sustainability Report.

In its position paper on the revision of the Port Reception Facilities Directive, ESPO welcomes the Commission proposal and its objective to build upon the substantial progress achieved under the existing Directive. The existing Directive 2000/59 has contributed to decreasing significantly waste discharges at sea. The minimum fixed fee, which has to be paid by all ships calling at EU ports, regardless of whether they use the waste facilities or of the quantities they deliver, has delivered. As a result, only 2.5% of oily waste is not delivered at waste facilities in ports.

European ports support, in particular, the proposal’s objectives to increase efficiency and reduce administrative burden. The new Directive should, however, also make sure that efficient but responsible regime for managing ship waste is encouraged, in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

European ports recognise that providing the right incentives is essential and port authorities are certainly willing to contribute. However, introducing a fee system whereby ships could deliver unreasonable amounts of garbage, including dangerous waste for 100% fixed fee, would be a severe and unacceptable divergence from the ‘polluter pays’ principle. It risks to discourage tackling waste at the source by reducing waste volumes onboard, which has been the cornerstone of the EU waste policy” says ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

ESPO therefore proposes to set a limit on waste covered by the 100% fixed fee. The fixed (flat) fee should cover normal quantities of waste delivered by a certain type and size of ship.  Ports should be allowed to charge on top of that if unreasonable quantities are delivered. Furthermore, dangerous waste, which usually needs special and costly treatment, should not be covered by the 100% indirect fee.

European ports believe, moreover, that any provisions leading to better enforcement of the obligation for ships to deliver waste at shore are welcome. The alignment of specific elements of the Directive with the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is supported by ESPO. European ports also welcome that new types of waste, such as scrubber waste, have been addressed by the proposal.

The proposal is currently being discussed in the Council and the European Parliament. ESPO looks forward to working with the Parliament’s rapporteurs and the shadow rapporteurs, the Bulgarian Presidency, the Council and the Commission in view of achieving a new and efficient legislative framework that would further reduce ship generated waste discharged at sea and increase waste quantities delivered at ports.

The document can be downloaded from the ESPO website.

Source: ESPO Press Release