ECASBA, the European Committee of international ship agents and ship brokers’
association the Federation Of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA), has brought together a broad coalition of European shipping sector organisations to issue a joint statement calling on the European Parliament, Commission and Member States to honour the commitments to support short sea shipping that were made in May last year in the Athens Declaration.
ECASBA General Manager Jonathan C. Williams FICS, who coordinated the joint letter, said
that the Declaration included a clear and unequivocal call by Transport Ministers for
concerted action by Europe to allow short sea shipping to exploit its full potential as the
most efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transport. One year on however, the
actions that require to be taken to allow the Declaration aims to be achieved, have still
not been progressed, he added.
The joint letter, a copy of which is attached, said that in spite of the Declaration commitments, inaction by some European institutions and Member State authorities continued to frustrate efforts to allow short sea shipping to compete with road and rail on a level playing field. Inaction on reducing administrative burdens, restrictions on port and terminal development, the failure by competing modes to pay their full infrastructure cost and a lack of a functioning single market in shipping, combined with environmental impediments such as the imposition of the SECA in the North and Baltic Seas, were hampering efforts to utilise the considerable growth potential of short sea shipping.
Williams said that the signatory associations were holding Europe to account on its commitments and wanted to see positive progress sooner rather than later.
The Athens Declaration letter was jointly signed by ECASBA in concert with the associations representing freight forwarders; CLECAT, shipowners; ECSA, shippers; ESC, port authorities; ESPO, the European Shortsea Network; ESN, terminal operators; FEPORT, ferry operators; INTERFERRY and the major container lines; WSC.
FONASBA is the only organisation representing the global ship agency and ship broking
professions. Established in 1969 it now has members in 50 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 with the European Commission and other regional
bodies. FONASBA also enjoys reciprocal memberships with the Baltic Exchange, BIMCO,
INTERTANKO, the International Port Community Systems Association, indemnity insurer
ITIC and the Shipbrokers’ Register and works closely with all other maritime sector bodies,
both internationally and in Europe. www.fonasba.com
ECASBA represents the FONASBA members in European Union member and applicant
member states as well as members of the European Economic Area in their negotiations
with European institutions. Those members are the national associations of: Belgium,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary,
Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and