European Commission

EU Commission approves prolongation of Cyprus’ tonnage tax scheme

Under EU state aid rules, the EU Commission approved the prolongation of Cyprus’ tonnage tax scheme, which applies to ship ownership, ship management and ship chartering activities for the next ten years. Cyprus was the first ever open registry to have a TTS approved by the EU.

EU Council agrees position on speeding grant permissions

On 2 December, the European Council accepted the proposal of easing the completion of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), by running up the permit-granting processes. The agreed proposal further goals to clarify the procedures which project promoters need to follow, such as permit granting and public procurement.

EU Commission to propose shipping inclusion in ETS in March

On 12 December, the European Commission will present the European Green Deal as part of its plan to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050, announced the European Commission’s recently-elected President, Ursula von der Leyen, on the sidelines of COP 25 underway in Madrid. 

Atlantic strategy promoting a sustainable blue economy

The blue economy of the EU Atlantic area is one of the largest in Europe as it amounts to €65 billion gross value and employs more than 1.2 million people. The European Commission reports that the Atlantic stakeholders are reviewing how they can help decarbonize the economy, reduce marine pollution and further promote a sustainable blue economy, looking at the new decade approaching with a new Commission and new funding instruments.

How the EU Emissions Trading System may help shipping decarbonize

Last week, the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) published a strategic note for Clean Transport at Sea, describing the course for European Leadership, including the confirmation of the European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen’s ambition to add maritime transport into the EU’s Emission Trading System.

New requirements for fishing vessels in the Eastern Baltic Sea from 2020

Following an EU ban on cod fishing in Baltic Sea in late July, the Commission has recently made a new proposal in an effort to reinforce control and data collection in the area and assist all fishermen affected by the closure of the Easter Baltic cod fishery. Namely, the Commission suggests that from 2020, those vessels should be equipped with a vessel monitoring system or other equivalent electronic monitoring system and have observers onboard. This would allow scientists to gather more and better data on the stock.

EU opens in-depth investigation into Fincantieri’s Chantiers deal

The European Commission announced that it opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Chantiers de l’Atlantique by Fincantieri, under the EU Merger Regulation, following its concerns that the transaction may reduce competition in the global cruise shipbuilding market.

Fincantieri denies rumours of further examination of Chantiers deal

After rumours emerged that the EU antitrust authorities started a further in-depth analysis of the Fincantieri/Chantiers de l’Atlantique transaction, Fincantieri released a statement disapproving such rumours. Namely, after the European Commission conducted a preliminary examination of the transaction, the competition authority allegedly decided to continue with a full-scale antitrust investigation.

Information exchange can improve actions at sea

Enhancing the coordination between maritime authorities and across borders is crucial, and to be successful, interoperability is important. The EU’s Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) is doing exactly that, and last week, the European Commission has released a staff working document to present its progress so far.

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