EU shipping policies need to be globally focused

A study by Monitor Deloitte stated that in order for the shipping market in the EU to grow, it needs to reconsider its current shipping policy in order to adopt a more globally focused strategy. 
The study has been commissioned by the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) as a useful input into the long-standing review into the current EU shipping policy. The review started in 2015 with a mid-term review of the 2009-2016 Maritime Transport Strategy. 
The Monitor Deloitte study shows that the EU has an overall competitive regime in place for fiscal and social measures as well as quality registers and a strong skills base. This combination supports the current status of the EU as “an attractive location” for shipping activities.
“It is encouraging to see that the EU is in a good position and does not need a dramatic policy change. But global competition is fierce and we cannot take our position for granted,” Niels Smedegaard, ECSA President, commented.
“The study shows there are a number of policy gaps that should be addressed, firstly to maintain and then to enhance even further the competitive position of the EU. We have a unique momentum to do so now with the EU maritime year. We, therefore, offer this study as a basis for discussion on the EU shipping strategy for the next decade,” Smedegaard added.
“We need a more structured EU external shipping policy to capitalise on this positive role, similar to the one existing for aviation. With protectionism on the rise worldwide, Europe should remain a champion of free trade,” Smedegaard concluded.

The study compares the overall EU policy framework for shipping with policies of Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Shanghai and Vancouver. The benchmark exercise is based on eight criteria: taxation and fiscal incentives, availability of professional services, regulatory, economic and political factors, skills, flag attractiveness, ease of doing business, legal framework for vessel exploitation and availability of finance.

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