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ECASBA Supports Athens Declaration

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Fonasba logo e-mailECASBA, the European Committee of FONASBA, has given its wholehearted support to the  Athens Declaration issued by European Community Transport Ministers at their Informal  Maritime Ministerial Meeting held in the Greek capital on 7th May 2014.

ECASBA Chairman Antonio Belmar da Costa said that the Declaration was a clear and
unequivocal endorsement of the importance attached by Member States to the
development of efficient and effective European maritime transport policies. In issuing
the Declaration, the Member States were putting the incoming European Commission and
their own national administrations on notice that they expected prompt action on the
outstanding issues affecting the sector, he added.

The application of single market principles to maritime transport the introduction of an  electronic customs environment, removal of administrative bottlenecks and a reduction in  unnecessary, redundant and time-consuming reporting procedures are, amongst other  matters, issues for European ship agents that have all been under discussion for extended  periods without substantive progress having been made. With the clearly stated support of Member States however, ECASBA hopes that momentum will once again build and real  advances can be made. The Declaration also called for action on the long-awaited State Aid Guidelines, policies to enhance the competiveness of European port and the introduction of effective measures to enhance the safety and environmental performance
of ships, especially in the short sea trades.

Speaking at the 3rd European Shortsea Conference held in Lisbon this week, Mr. Belmar da
Costa and other delegates present also welcomed the clear reference in the Declaration
of the importance and value of short sea shipping to the European transport chain and to
its continued economic development, as well as the endorsement of the important role
played by the European Shortsea Network and its national Promotion Centre members in
bringing about the long-awaited improvements in the sector

The text of the Declaration can be found at the website of the Greek Presidency at: www.gr.2014.eu/news/press-releases/athens-declaration-sets-eu-future-maritime-transport-policy-priorities

FONASBA is the only organisation representing the global ship agency and ship broking
professions. Established in 1969 it now has members in 45 countries, including all major
maritime and trading nations. Its remit is to “promote and protect the professions of ship
agency and ship broking worldwide”, a task which it undertakes through dialogue with its
member associations and its consultative status with IMO, UNCTAD, UNCITRAL and the
World Customs Organisation, as well as through close and regular dialogue with the
European Commission and other regional bodies. FONASBA also enjoys reciprocal
memberships with the Baltic Exchange, BIMCO, INTERTANKO, indemnity insurer ITIC and
the Shipbrokers’ Register and works closely with other bodies, both internationally and in
Europe. ECASBA is the European Committee of FONASBA, representing member
associations in 22 full and candidate European Union Member States and in the European
Economic Area.

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