Strasbourg, 6 July 2010
Commission welcomes European Parliament’s approval of new legislation lessening the administrative burden for the maritime sector
The European Commission welcomes the European Parliament’s approval of the draft Directive intended to simplify and facilitate the administrative procedures for ships entering and leaving European ports. The provisions of the Directive will be phased in between 2012 and 2015. This Directive will contribute to making maritime transport more attractive and supporting maritime activity, particularly in small and medium-sized commercial ports.
Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport said: “The simplification of administrative procedures for maritime transport is an important step, not only because it will reduce the costs of maritime transport, which is used to deliver almost 40% of goods within the Internal Market, but also because maritime transport is a cleaner and safer form of transport".
This agreement gives the Member States, industries and port authorities five years to set up a one-stop administrative shop in every port. From 2013, the Directive will also simplify and harmonise a certain number of procedures, notably reducing the repeated transmission of data to the different administrative authorities in the ports.
While the administrative formalities for other modes of transport have been considerably streamlined since the creation of the single market, maritime transport remains subject to complex procedures. Under customs regulations and international law, a ship is considered to leave a Member State’s territory once it crosses the territorial water limit of 12 nautical miles (22 km). A vessel sailing from one European Union port to another has to go through administrative formalities on both departure and arrival in the same way as international shipping.
After the adoption of guidelines for veterinary checks in December 2009 and the amendment of the implementing rules for the Customs Code in March 2010, the Directive adopted today completes the first instalment of short-term actions planned as part of the ‘European maritime transport area without borders’ initiative launched in 2009. It is also a new step towards establishing a framework that will allow a more integrated management of the flow of administrative and commercial information accompanying the movement of goods into, out of and within the European Union, which will facilitate the work of both the operators and the inspection authorities. In the area of maritime transport, this framework will be completed by the European e-Maritime initiative, which the Commission is working on in cooperation with the stakeholders and which will be the subject of a proposal in 2011.