Italy’s competing two shipowner associations have differing opinions about the future of the nation’s international registry.
The Italian shipowners’association, Assarmatori, chaired by Stefano Messina (pictured), has officially asked the Italian government to open the local international register to other EU-flagged ships and to make it possible also for shipping companies based abroad to obtain cost reductions for Italian seafarers onboard. Assarmatori is backed by MSC, Ignazio Messina & C, Italia Marittima, Pillarstone and some ropax companies such as Onorato Armatori, Grandi Navi Veloci and others.
“Renewing the measures for maritime transport under Italy’s international registry scheme, the European Commission asked the country to extend the granted benefits also to the ships under the other EU flags,” said Messina, adding: “In Italy the only way today for increasing job opportunities for seafarers are the shipowners based in other European countries.”
Conversely, the nation’s other shipowners’ association, Confitarma, headed by Mario Mattioli, has asked the government to limit cost and tax reductions only to the shipping companies based in Italy.
The government will have to take a decision on that in the near future as it is under pressure to do so by the European Commission.