Letta report says maritime sector cannot benefit from Single Market

Maritime transport is a key vector of European Union trade, however it cannot fully benefit from the Single Market because the movement of ships between different EU countries is still considered international traffic. This is what is stated in the Letta Report, the work on the future of the Single Market commissioned by the European Council to former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, which was presented and discussed on April 18.

According to data presented in the report, "European maritime transport accounts for approximately 75% of EU external trade by volume and is responsible for almost 30% of trade in goods between EU Member States". In addition, the short sea shipping (SSS) sector plays a strategic role in safeguarding the connectivity of island, peripheral and remote maritime regions.

However, the EU maritime sector cannot fully benefit from the Single Market in SSS because maritime traffic between EU countries remains international. "Different reporting is required at each port call, which is not harmonized and leads to administrative bureaucracy," the report argues.

While Regulation (EU) 2019/1239, which establishes a European maritime single window environment, will simplify reporting obligations once it is fully operational, "considerable efforts are needed before the 2025 implementation date." The European single window will also improve the integration of maritime transport into the multimodal logistics chain.

The Letta report further warns of the essential need to "comprehensively assess new environmental requirements, such as the integration of shipping into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and the Border Carbon Emissions Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)." According to the report, it is essential that the EU avoids these measures causing a modal shift to road transport or to non-EU ports with lower environmental standards, "as this would counteract the EU´s environmental efforts."

"In addition, the revised definition of ´intermodal transport´ should incorporate the benefits obtained in third countries, such as Switzerland, the UK, Norway and the Balkan countries. A reliable, simple and certifiable mechanism is needed to ensure the seamless inclusion of these benefits," the Report concludes in its analysis of the shipping sector.

With 30 years of history, the Single Market is the jewel in the crown of European integration. The European Council last June 30, 2023 called for "a high-level independent report on the future of the Single Market" with concrete and ambitious recommendations. This report was commissioned to the former head of the Italian Government, Enrico Letta and was presented yesterday at the European Council meeting, which was also attended by the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez.


News and image obtained: "Asociación de navieros españoles"



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