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Thursday, 21 October 2010 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Integrated Maritime Policy (debate)

  Vilja Savisaar-Toomast (ALDE), in writing. – (ET) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, as is well known, the International Maritime Organisation has imposed, under MARPOL Annex VI, various requirements on the amount of sulphur in different regions. The Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel have been declared a sulphur emissions control area, and more stringent requirements have been established for these regions to reduce pollution significantly. In these regions, from 2015, marine fuels can be used if their sulphur content does not exceed 0.1%, while for other regions the sulphur content is required not to exceed 0.5% from 2020. This issue was also dealt with at the International Maritime Conference, which took place on 24 September in Tallinn in my home country. I believe that it will not be a solution if the European Union comes out with its own requirements, but they do not apply to third countries; that is, we will subject ourselves to unequal competition in the maritime sector. The situation must be resolved internationally, so that the requirements imposed would be real and would apply to all those sailing in the Baltic Sea, not only to vessels from EU Member States. In addition, the imposition of irrational standards involves moving the transportation of goods from the sea back on to the roads, which is much more dangerous and hostile to the environment. On this issue, I therefore support the standpoints of the Estonian and Finnish governments, as well as the European Community Shipowners’ Association – the International Maritime Organisation’s decision should be reviewed and should impose equal rules on all EU regions and vessels operating there.

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