How to prevent the entry into force next January of the EU directive that includes shipping in the EU ETS of EU emissions trading scheme could seriously undermine the competitiveness of European ports, in particular of those active primarily in the transhipment segment where the loads are transshipped by motherships to smaller vessels? The problem, judging by the 36 contributions sent as part of the consultation with stakeholders on this issue launched by the European Commission and concluded on September 18, is felt almost exclusively by the EU nations that have afflicted the Mediterranean, being the considerations that came from northern Europe coming from supranational European organizations dealing with portuality and shipping. This is despite the fact that even the EU's northern transhipment ports are likely to lose competitiveness compared to transhipment hubs of neighbouring nations, though probably to a lesser extent than the ports of Europe.
The proposed amendments to the directive aimed at averting this risk are almost all focused on two alternatives : the first, which is prevalent on the other, provides for exclusion from the definition of "port of scalo", that is, those ports where the vessels download or load the goods, the touches of container ships in a port of transhipment whether this is located in a neighbouring nation to the EU or an EU nation ; the second proposal, instead of extending to European ports to tranship the provisions for extra-EU transhipment ports, it plans to extend the list of extra-European ports to which these provisions apply, not limiting it to Tanger Med transhipment ports and Port Said.
The totality of the subjects who suggested these two alternatives specified that such proposals would not be sufficient to completely avert the risk of a change in shipping lanes from shipping companies to the end of avoiding sunset at European ports and thus incurring the payment of 100% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by their vessels, if these are generated on intra-European sea tracts, or in the payment of 50% of the emissions if these are produced on international routes departing or arriving at a European port.