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Euro-MPs set to cut red tape in maritime transport

Ships entering and departing from EU ports will no longer be subject to complex, repetitive administrative formalities thanks to a new directive approved by European Parliament on Tuesday.

All Member States will have to recognise a standard form and set up a shared electronic system for fast and easy exchange of information between ships and ports. Harmonisation and coordination of reporting formalities throughout the EU is the main objective of the new rules. With this aim in mind, MEPs gave their backing to new rules on notification by ships before they enter ports. They also called on national governments to adopt laws to make relevant data available to other Member States via the national SafeSeaNet systems. In addition, says Parliament, all reporting formalities should be accepted in electronic format by no later than 1 June 2015.

To monitor the effects of the new rules, the Commission is asked to report on the functioning of the directive 18 months after its entry into force, on progress achieved towards harmonisation and coordination of reporting formalities and in particular on the possibility of extending simplification to cover inland waterway transport.

The legislative resolution, drafted by Dirk Sterckx (ALDE, BE), and approved by 640 votes to 20, with 19 abstentions, reflects a first reading agreement with the Council on an update of existing legislation to simplify rules in the EU maritime transport sector.

Member States will have 18 months to transpose the directive into their national law, once the text is formally into force.

Report on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States of the Community and repealing Directive 2002/6/EC


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