Messina (Assarmatori): “The Fit for 55 risks to sink shipping”

The president of Assarmatori, Stefano Messina, participated to the second day of the Conftrasporto Forum. “The EU – Messina argued – is going in the wrong direction as shipping regulations aimed to reduce emissions derived from the Fit for 55 package will not sustain the environment and destroy the economy”. “As it is known, the Commission presented last July a set of measures finalised for the reduction of emissions, which anticipate various deadlines of the energy transition path that the IMO, the United Nations authority that deals with maritime transport, has launched more than ten years ago. To force maritime transport towards the exploitation of green fuels, the EU Commission proposes to discourage the use of fossil fuels through fiscal measures, such as the extension of European maritime transport in the Emission Trading System and the introduction, starting from 2023, of a tax applied to all fuels deployed in the European Economic Area (EEA), with the possibility, for member states, to extend it also to international routes”.

The logistic platform more attractive will then become African. So, it may be useless to carry out dredging projects as large ships may decide not to come to Europe anymore, stopping in Tangier or Suez to avoid paying regional taxes. Freights will have to arrive to us via other routes, through smaller and much more expensive vessels. International shipping currently making port calls in Europe could therefore try to evade the new impositions by avoiding them and, instead, calling existing hubs on the EU borders or those – numerous – under construction, for example in North Africa. The Fit for 55 will not even achieve a reduction in emissions due to the lack of technologies, alternative fuels and their distribution networks. And they will be missing for a long time, while transition fuels such as LNG are available, even though it is not considered green in the Fit for 55 package and will therefore be taxed notwithstanding that it can drastically reduce up to 20% of CO2 emissions.

“So, let’s give a clear message to politicians – concluded Messina – : before sharing initiatives involving shipping that come from Member States’ that present a maritime cluster diverse from ours and therefore face different consequences, Italy should weigh up the economic and industrial impact of those decisions.