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Europe told to reduce administrative burden on shipping

Europe told to reduce administrative burden on shipping

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At the Digital Transport Days in Tallinn yesterday, the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) called for an easing of the administrative burden shipping crew and companies are facing.

The Reporting Formalities Directive, that aimed to simplify and rationalise reporting formalities for ships in European ports as of June last year, has not helped in easing the situation, the two organisations stated in a release. Crews and companies face a worse situation today than before, the pair maintained.

“Rather than having a single European window, diverging national solutions were developed and even at Member States’ level there is very often no single solution in place,” the two bodies stated in a release.

This has led to an increase of the administrative workload and the risk of seafarer fatigue, to the detriment of job satisfaction and smoothness of operations, the two associations claimed.

“Only through harmonisation can real simplification and reduction of undue administrative burden be achieved,” the pair urged.

The EU is set to relook at the directive in the coming months.

Martin Dorsman, ECSA secretary general, commented: “We have the unique chance now to not only rectify things but to improve the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport. Maritime transport lies at the backbone of EU’s free movement of goods and services. For it to continue to function properly and competitively compared to other modes of transport the paperwork to fill in has to be reduced”.

Philippe Alfonso, political secretary at ETF, added: “Surely there are reporting requirements that can be dropped, information that can be re-used better and responsibilities of the various actors that can be clarified better. If this assessment is thoroughly done, this will result in a huge reduction of the administrative burden on crew and companies.”

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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