MAY 2020 EUROPEAN UNION BULLETIN

 

1- 2021 EU Blue Economy report – Emerging sectors prepare blue economy for leading part in EU green transition

The European Commission has published the fourth edition of “The EU Blue Economy Report”, providing an overview of the performance of the EU-27 economic sectors related to oceans and the coastal environment.

The sector directly employed close to 4.5 million people in 2018 and generated around €650 billion in turnover and €176 billion in gross value added. Emerging activities such as ocean energy, marine biotechnology and robotics are developing quickly and will play an important role in the EU’s transition towards a carbon-neutral, circular and biodiverse economy.

Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “This report shows that the blue economy is an important driver of today’s European economy, in coastal communities and beyond. Moreover, with the European Green Deal, its importance will only grow in the future. The sector will contribute to decarbonisation and other European environmental objectives with innovative solutions and by reducing its own footprint. I call on Member States and private investors to support this transformation and invest in a sustainable blue economy.”Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel said: “The EU Blue Economy report marks an important milestone towards establishing the European Blue Observatory, a knowledge sharing platform that will enable near real-time monitoring of decarbonisation efforts across Europe’s blue economy sectors.”

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel said: “The EU Blue Economy report marks an important milestone towards establishing the European Blue Observatory, a knowledge sharing platform that will enable near real-time monitoring of decarbonisation efforts across Europe’s blue economy sectors.” “AB Mavi Ekonomi Raporu, karbonsuzlaşmaya yönelik olarak Avrupa’nın mavi ekonomi sektörleri tarafından gösterilen çabaları gerçek zamanlı bir şekilde gözlemlemeye olanak sağlayacak bilgi paylaşım platformu olan Avrupa Mavi Gözlemevi’nin (European Blue Observatory) kurulması adına önemli bir kilometre taşı olacaktır.”

Main trends 2018

Most of the data available for the blue economy focus on the so-called “established sectors”, seven large sectors ranging from maritime transport and ship building over offshore wind energy to coastal tourism.

The report shows an acceleration in the growth of all established sectors from 2013 to 2018 except for non-living resources (oil, gas and minerals extraction). Gross value added from coastal tourism, the largest blue economy sector in the EU, increased by 20.6% compared to 2009, while maritime transport and port activities increased by 12% and 14.5%, respectively. Also the living resources sector – including fisheries and aquaculture – is in good health and has generated €7.3 billion gross profits in 2018, a 43% rise compared to 2009.

Employment in the blue economy has remained stable (+1%) over the last ten years, although this figure masks a strong shift between sectors. While employment in the non-living resources dropped by 60% compared to 2015, coastal tourism saw a 45% increase over the same period. Offshore wind is confirming its spectacular development of recent years, with 15% more jobs in 2018 compared to just the year before.

Employment in the blue economy has remained stable (+1%) over the last ten years, although this figure masks a strong shift between sectors. While employment in the non-living resources dropped by 60% compared to 2015, coastal tourism saw a 45% increase over the same period. Offshore wind is confirming its spectacular development of recent years, with 15% more jobs in 2018 compared to just the year before.

Gross investments in tangible goods decreased by 14.2% compared to 2009: from €29.8 billion to €25.5 billion. This decline was mainly driven by decreases in investments in the sectors of maritime transport, non-living resources, and to a lesser extent, port activities. On the other hand, shipbuilding and repair, as well as the living resources sector, reported a positive trend (+8.6% and +12.6%, respectively).

Based on the most recent data and analysis, all the established sectors, with the exception of marine renewable energy, suffered severely from the COVID-19 crisis. The coastal tourism sector is one of the most affected with an estimated decrease in tourism activity of 60 to 80%. Comparing the first halves of 2019 and 2020, new orders in European shipyards decreased by 62%. In June 2020, out of 75 ports, 48% had registered a decline in container vessel calls compared to pre-COVID times.

Emerging activities pave way for European Green Deal

The report also looks into emerging sectors, which are still in full development but hold significant potential for the future. Blue biotechnology and the blue bioeconomy can play a crucial role as suppliers of plant-based alternatives to plastics and other petrochemical applications. The sector is still in its infancy, the most notable subsector being algae production with a total turnover of € 10.7 million in France, Spain and Portugal. In 2022, the European Commission will adopt an algae strategy to foster development of the sector.

Emerging marine renewable energy activities including floating offshore wind, wave and tidal energy and floating solar photovoltaic energy can help the EU meet its goal of carbon-neutrality by 2050. Installed capacities are still small and often not yet commercial, but the EU is taking a leading role in its development. In 2020, 66% of global wave energy capacity was installed in the EU.

This edition of the Blue Economy report also provides an overview of the maritime security and surveillance sectors, which were not included in prior editions. Digitalisation and technological innovation are transforming the maritime sector in nearly every aspect of its operations, from underwater to air equipment, including an increased usage of robots for different purposes, such as surveys, scientific research, oil and gas exploration, border surveillance, infrastructure inspection, and farming. Global market value of the maritime robotics sector is forecasted to double by 2025.

Research expenditure

Research and education are key enablers for the twin green and digital transitions. A preliminary assessment shows that the majority of Horizon 2020 investments in the blue economy focused on ocean observation, blue growth and blue biotechnology. Between 2007 and 2019, public and private R&D expenditure on wave and tidal energy in the EU amounted to €3.84 billion. For the next long-term research programme Horizon Europe (2021-27), at least 35% will be devoted to climate-related actions and supporting the transition of maritime industries to climate neutrality.

2- Clock ticking on Europe's ETS

Time is running out for shipping to prepare for the European Union's (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), according to Gibson Shipbrokers. In its most recent weekly report, the firm noted that policy specifics are still “work in progress” and important details remain vague and uncertain.

However, EU regulators have now completed a consultation period and are working on an impact assessment, Gibson said. Despite disruption caused by Covid-19, final legislation proposals are still expected in July and there are no signs of any delay. As things stand, ships of more than 5,000gt will be included in the scheme from the beginning of 2022.

Shipping’s main concern, according to the broker, is that “there is a lack of clarity of how shipping carbon emissions will be calculated, particularly for international voyages in/out of the EU and whether there will be any allowances”. Gibson drew a parallel with the airline industry about a decade ago, which was able to persuade the EU to water down its ETS regulations so that only flights within the European Economic Area were included. The sector was also granted significant free allowances. Issues of concern, according to Gibson, include the fact that some voyages involving European ports could be priced out of the market, unless EU regulators address this issue. There is also a currency risk since most shipping markets and carbon are priced in dollars, whereas the ETS is traded in euros.

Most critical, however, is who will be liable for the extra costs. The additional cost of low-sulphur fuels for use in Europe’s Emissions Control Area has mostly been passed on to charterers, the broker said, and costs relating to the ETS could be treated in the same way. Ultimately, however, if trading in Europe generates weaker returns than operating elsewhere, shipowners will focus on more profitable trades and shipping costs in Europe are likely to rise as a result.

3- EU to push transport sector to rapidly adopt greater use of renewables

The European Union had laid out more stringent targets for the transport sector, including shipping. With clean energy transition picking up pace and speed, Europe is at a crossroads when it comes to the energy sector, EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson said yesterday.

Simson said that the current global commitments fall short of what Europe needs to reach climate neutrality by 2050, and that all governments need to ramp up action before it is too late. While not mentioning shipping specifically, Simons noted that in transport there was less than 10% of renewable energy sources in 2019, stressing that needs to more than double by 2030 according to the Climate Target Plan.

The EU Commission will present its so-called Fit for 55 package in July, with proposals for the revision of the energy efficiency and renewable energy directives; strengthening and extension of the emissions trading scheme, and a carbon border adjustment mechanism, among other new plans. In November, a second set of initiatives will follow in the energy field including hydrogen and the decarbonisation of the gas markets, and a proposal for a regulation on reducing methane emissions, something that could have ramifications for shipping companies with exposure to LNG.

“This is one of the most ambitious policy overhauls in EU history. Offering us a way to tackle climate change, and providing crucial opportunities for the recovery,” commissioner Simson said.

Komiser Simson konuya ilişkin olarak şu şekilde bir açıklamada bulunmuştur: “Avrupa Birliği tarihinin en iddialı politika revizyonu olan söz konusu paket ve yönetmelik taslağı, iklim değişikliği ile mücadelede farklı bir yol haritası sunmakta ve iyileşme için çok önemli fırsatlar sağlamaktadır.”

Söz konusu revizyon ile yeşil hidrojenin sınıflandırılması ve taşımacılık sektörünün yanı sıra bütün alanlarda kullanımının sertifikalandırılması amacıyla bir metodoloji oluşturulmasına ilişkin kurallar ortaya konulacaktır.

“By rolling out clean technologies where Europe is leading, and by developing new lead markets, for example in renewable hydrogen, we will support growth. Policy measures promoting direct fossil fuel combustion should be excluded from the scope of the obligation,” she said. With recent events in the oil and gas sector, it is becoming increasingly obvious that shipping will also need to step up its zero carbon transition game.Avrupa’nın öncüsü olduğu temiz teknolojilerin yaygın bir hale getirilmesi ve yenilenebilir hidrojen gibi yeni öncü piyasaların geliştirilmesi sayesinde büyümeyi destekleyeceğiz. Fosil yakıtları destekleyen politikaların zorunluluk kapsamından kaldırılması gerekmektedir.” (Kaynak: www.splash247.com)

4- SCHENGEN AREA – BORDER VISAS FOR SEAFARERS/EES

BACKGROUND: The issuing of border visas for arriving and departing seafarers, often at short notice, is paramount in ensuring that crew changes and repatriations do not avoid cause delay or disruption to the movement of ships and the efficient movement of cargo at European ports. In the Schengen Area there is significant variation in the interpretation of the applicable regulations and therefore the ability of ship agents to readily obtain transit visas for on- and offsigning crew.

 

Proposals by DG-HOME to review the Annexes to Regulation 810/2009 that establish the rules for the issue of border visas, with the possibility that further restrictions could be placed on the issue of same, is also a matter of concern. The planned introduction in 2022 of the Entry-Exit System (EES), with its emphasis on electronic verification of passports and visas using biometric data, may also impact on crew changes and on non-EU seafarers travelling on International Labour Organisation-approved Seafarer Identity Documents.

 

ECASBA POSITION: Given the vital role played by the ship agent in overseeing and coordinating the arrival and repatriation of ship’s crew, ECASBA and its members should be consulted whenever any new developments in laws or procedures related to the issue of border visas are proposed.

 

The following issues are important for the agent:

 

  • National immigration authorities and border force staff should recognise that international merchant shipping regularly requires seafarers to arrive or depart at short notice
  • The processes for obtaining border visas for arriving and departing crew should therefore be made as simple and efficient as possible, without the need for extended lead times and complex application processes
  • Procedures should also be implemented to allow accredited ship agents to accompany arriving and departing crew between the airport and the ship
  • International conventions (ILO Conventions 108 and 185) allow ship’s crew to travel using a Seafarer Identity Document as their sole form of identification and this convention should also be applied by countries in the Schengen Area
  • The EES must accommodate Seafarer Identity Documents as a valid form of identification, alternatively other facilities must be in place to process the holders of such documents
  • Those procedures should also be consistently applied within individual Member States and also across the European Union

 

5- Turkish flagged vessel detention list between the date 01.01.2021-15.06.2021

01.01.2021 – 15.06.2021 tarihleri arasında Paris Memorandumu (Paris MOU) üye limanlarında Türk Bayraklı gemilere yönelik 71 denetim gerçekleştirilmiş ve söz konusu denetimlerde herhangi bir gemi tutulmamıştır. Türk Bayraklı gemi tutulmalarına ilişkin detaylı bilgiler Odamız web sayfasında (--

Prepared and translated by Emre ERDOGAN, Foreign Affairs Unit Emre ERDOĞAN,  Dış İlişkiler Birimi

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