We cannot go back to the situation of 25 years ago. It is the position of Assarmatori, which expresses all its perplexity regarding a hypothetical amendment to the Relaunch Decree on maritime transport which, modifying article 16 of Law 84/94, makes the recourse to self-handling of port operations by shipping companies even more unnecessarily complicated – as well as much more onerous.
The introduction of new requirements and additional mechanisms for self-handling, such as those provided for in the proposed or drafted amendments, would not only lead to significant steps backwards for the protection of the right to self-handling, but would also damage the efficiency and competitiveness of the port system, and hinder the development of maritime traffic.
Instead, it is clear that our Country, and in particular the shipping sector, have a very urgent need to improve the level of efficiency and competitiveness of the system, also thanks to mechanisms of administrative and bureaucratic simplification, as well as cost reduction. All the more so at a time of extreme necessity for a sector that is reacting to the current crisis underway with its own strength alone.
In this regard, it should be emphasized that the rules on self-handling of port services are already sufficiently clear and comply with the necessary security standards in this area. Moreover, the current regulatory framework already provides for a system that protects port companies, enabling them to operate under an authorized guarantee regime. Under this regime, the right to self-handling of services by users, in this case the companies, is a general principle of our system and represents a necessary counterbalance, an essential balancing point to allow shipowners to pursue, in full compliance with safety standards, conditions of operational efficiency in cases where the port undertakings present are unable to offer a service appropriate to the economic conditions.
Assarmatori is convinced that the common interest of the port and maritime system is that of growing, and is ready to discuss, through a serious and constructive discussion with all interested parties – at the ministerial level – how to guarantee a rigorous and uniform application of the existing rules, aimed at protecting in the best possible way the health and safety of people working in ports and on ships.