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Parliamentary questions
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13 September 2018
Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003131/2018

The importance of short sea shipping to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is fully recognised by the Commission. In its communication on the strategic goals and recommendations for the EU’s maritime transport policy until 2018 (COM(2009) 8 final), the Commission has identified a number of priorities to exploit the full potential of short sea shipping and sea transport services for business and citizens in Europe.

These have led to concrete policy initiatives such as the European Ports Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2017/352) and a continuous support through funding instruments such as the Connecting Europe Facility(1) and the promotion of the motorways of the seas in Article 21 of the TEN-T guidelines(2).

Concerning the reduction of administrative burden, the Commission has recently adopted a proposal for the establishment of a European Maritime Single Window environment(3). It aims at harmonising ship reporting throughout the EU, with more efficient information flows thanks to a truly harmonised data set and enhanced digital reporting systems.

This proposal is expected to deliver savings estimated at EUR 625-720 million, equivalent to 22-25 million work hours saved yearly over 2020-2030. It has also a potential to support modal shift to waterborne traffic from other modes (mainly road) equivalent to 3 395 million t-km until 2030.

In its approach to short sea shipping, the Commission does not single out individual market segments (e.g. containers, bulk, Roll-on/Roll-off ships etc.). However, the recent proposal for a directive amending the Combined Transport Directive(4) proposes to clarify and extend the scope of support for combined transport as compared to the current Directive, in particular as regards the shift from road to waterborne transport and for loading units identified through existing standards.

This will ensure an increased support for and hence promote short sea shipping of containers as part of combined transport operations.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010
(2)Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU
(3)COM(2018) 278 final, Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment and repealing Directive 2010/65/EU
(4)COM(2017)648 final. Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 92/106/EEC on the establishment of common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods between Member States.

Last updated: 14 September 2018Legal notice