EU News - BIMCO Bulletin

Central to change

ECONOMY | RegUlatoRY neWS November 2017 Latest news from Europe Public consultation on the revision of the EU MRV policy The Commission has launched a public consultation on the revision of the policy on monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions from maritime transport. The consultation follows a preliminary consultation on the so-called Inception Impact Assessment. This was the first step of the legislative process aimed at reviewing the EU MRV of CO2 from maritime transport in view of an alignment with the IMO CO2 Data Collection System. BIMCO is actively engaged in the process and believes it is imperative that the EU must align its MRV regulation to IMOs data collection system. A joint shipping industry response to the Inception Impact Assessment was submitted, amongst others, by ECSA and BIMCO. The ongoing public consultation can be accessed here and comments should be submitted before 1 December 2017. The Reporting Formalities Directive increased the administrative burden, better regulation analysis confirms Over the summer considerable progress was made on the European Commissions regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT) analysis carried out on the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD) and the Vessel Traffic Monitoring Information System Directive (VTMIS). The Commission published the evaluation study, as well as the results of the public consultation on the RFD and VTMIS Directives. These documents confirm that the RFD did not lead to any simplification or harmonisation for shipping companies, but instead added to the administrative workload. Based on this feedback, the Commission will come up with a new legislative initiative to be expected by March 2018. The Commission adopts social partners proposal to update the Agreement on the ILOs Maritime Labour Convention The ILO MLC amendments require shipowners to provide financial security to ensure the repatriation of seafarers On 27 July, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Council Directive to give effect to the maritime social partners (the European Transport Workers Federation and the European Community Shipowners Associations) agreement amending their Agreement on the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The International Labour Organizations (ILO) MLC amendments entered into force on 18 January 2017. They require shipowners to provide financial security to ensure the repatriation of seafarers and the payment of contractual claims from seafarers or their dependants in respect of death in service or long-term disability. The Council will still need to adopt the Agreement and unanimity of the EU member states will be required for its adoption. The Parliaments Environment Committee adopts a draft opinion on the Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility The European Parliaments Environment Committee has adopted a draft opinion on a European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility. The report includes a paragraph on Maritime Transport where it is acknowledged that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is making efforts to adopt a clear GHG emission reduction plan. It also says, however, that in the absence of a comparable system operating under the IMO, CO2 emissions emitted at Union ports and during voyages to and from Union ports shall be subject to the EU ETS as of 2023. This report is a so-called own-initiative report, aiming to shape the agenda of the Commission but still a non-legislative proposal. Within three months after the adoption of such report, the Commission should provide information to the Parliament in writing on action taken in response to specific requests addressed to it in the report. However, the Commission does not need to follow Parliaments views. European Parliament report requires companies to disclose taxes paid In July, the Parliament adopted the reports of the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Legal Affairs (JURI)) Committees on the Commissions legislative proposal requiring large firms to make publicly available information about the taxes they pay in each country in the world, including taxes paid outside the EU. (For the purpose of the proposal, large firms are companies with a worldwide turnover of at least 750 million). To increase tax transparency, the proposal suggests that the relevant tax information should be published in a common template in each of a particular companys (or its subsidiaries) tax jurisdictions, and be available publicly for free on the companys websites. Companies would also have to file a report in a public registry managed by the European Commission. Information to be provided would include among other things: the name of the firm, its subsidiaries, activities and locations; number of employees; net turnover; stated capital; and income tax information. The report is now back in the ECON and JURI committees to start negotiations based on the plenary mandate. The Estonian Presidency is expected to start discussions among the member states to reach a Council common negotiation position and then to start informal trilogue discussions with the Parliament. The Court of Justices judgment on tax exemption for fuel used for purpose of navigation within EU waters The Court of Justice found that national licensing regimes that arbitrarily restrict access to duty-free bunkers are not in line with the directive - a welcome judgment for shipowners On 13 July 2017, the Court of Justice of the EU held that the implementation of the Energy Taxation Directive by Lithuania was not correct. Case C-151/16 concerned a request made to the State Tax Inspectorate to refund the fuel tax. Responding to a request for a preliminary ruling on the exemption of energy products used as fuel for the purpose of navigation within EU waters, the Court clarified that: i) the purpose of a ships journey within EU waters is irrelevant for the application of the tax exemption when that navigation involves the provision of a service for consideration; and ii) the exemption applies to fuel used to sail a ship, without cargo, from a port of a member state, in the present case where the ship was built, to a port of another member state in order to take on cargo to be transported to a port of a third member state. The Court also found that national licensing regimes that arbitrarily restrict access to duty-free bunkers are not in line with the directive. This is a welcome judgment for shipowners. Public consultation on the evaluation of the European Maritime Safety Agency The Commissions Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) recently opened a public consultation on the evaluation of the European Maritime Safety Agency, EMSA. The deadline for returning the questionnaire is 2 November 2017. This public consultation has been launched to collect views on the performance of EMSA and to gather factual information on what works well and where there is room for improvement. The results of the public consultation will feed into the Commissions analysis which will also be based on the external evaluation of the EMSA mandate and work commissioned by the Administrative Board of the Agency. The questionnaire is available here. Editors Note: This report has been produced in cooperation with the European Community Shipowners Associations (ECSA) Connect with BIMCO Facebook Twitter Linkedin YouTube