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2nd Panel discussion on differentiated port infrastructure charges to promote sustainable transport

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The scope of the meeting organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport was to present the progress of an EU study assessing the various options that are currently applied in order to differentiate port infrastructure charges according to environmental or sustainability criteria.

MedCruise joined cruise and other maritime stakeholders in Brussels to discuss differentiated port infrastructure charges to promote environmentally friendly maritime transport activities and sustainable transport.

The scope of the meeting organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport was to present the progress of an EU study assessing the various options that are currently applied in order to differentiate port infrastructure charges according to environmental or sustainability criteria.

The study is expected to deliver a guide to good practices with a set of principles and criteria that can be used by ports willing to implement, on a voluntary basis, efficient and cost-effective environmental charging.

Valeria Mangiarotti represented MedCruise, along with stakeholders from the maritime industries, port authorities and NGOs, participated in an open discussion, making suggestions to improve the final report.

Port representatives stressed that the majority of ports are already using the same index (Environmental Shipping Index) or certification (Green Award) to grant rebates to ships and there is scope to work towards facilitating further this convergence and maximize the effectiveness of differentiated charging. The question was therefore more to provide common instruments rather than to harmonise charges. Stakeholders noted that a purely harmonised and obligatory approach would not be warranted due to the lack of data and technical difficulties for ports to monitor themselves.

The final report of the study is expected by the end of March 2016. The findings of the study and the discussions with Member States will be reflected in the European Commission's input in the context of the trans-European network and the review of the maritime transport strategy.

MedCruise will provide further input, promoting best practices that will secure a sustainable and socially responsible growth of cruise activities in the Med and its adjoining seas.

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