No emissions trading for public service vessels. Assarmatori partially satisfied with the European Parliament adopted changing proposals

Assarmatori has expressed its satisfaction for the European Parliament’s taken position with respect to the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) debate, in view of the start of the final negotiations with the European Union Council. Indeed, the Parliament endorsed the amendment which entails the exemption, from the ETS, for those routes performed under a public service contract or which are subject to public service obligations – pursuant to Regulation (EEC) no. 3577/92 on maritime cabotage.


The Association has recognized the crucial and central role played by the Italian MEPs who gave their positive contribution to that amendment. Furthermore, the report approved by the Parliament recognizes explicitly the existence of “ETS negative impacts” on the services guaranteeing territorial continuity, as maintained by Assarmatori.


Even though this has represented a significant step forward, further actions need to be taken. In fact, according to the Association the exemption introduced by the European Parliament must be extended in subsequent negotiations to all island traffic and to ships operating within the Motorways of the Sea in order to prevent the risk of modal reversal from the sea to the road.


“Now we expect Member States’ governments – comments Stefano Messina, Assarmatori President – to accept this request in the negotiating position that will be defined by the Countries themselves in view of the Council of Ministers for the environment – scheduled for June 28th and in the future Parliamentary interinstitutional negotiations. It is worth to remember that it is an essential measure aimed at protecting local mobility, tourism, territorial continuity and at preserving intermodality from the costs increase deriving from the ETS extension to the maritime transport “.


The Association positively welcomes the European Parliament’s proposal to use the 75% of incomes deriving from the ETS extension to the maritime sector, to finance projects and investments aimed at improving the energy efficiency of ships and ports and the adoption of technologies and infrastructures for decarbonization. Moreover, also the short sea shipping sector is trying to move towards the decarbonization process looking for research and development strategies and trying to adopt alternative and sustainable fuels.


“However, we have strong doubts about other changes approved in the position of the European Parliament. In particular, we refer to the ETS application timing and to the mandatory contractual provision clauses regarding the transfer costs from the owner to the ship manager – concludes Messina. We do hope that these proposals will be recalibrated properly during the negotiations by taking into account more realistic criteria and by evaluating pragmatic solutions”.