At the Digital Transport Days in Tallinn today, European shipowners (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) call for easing the administrative burden shipping crew and companies are facing today.
The Reporting Formalities Directive, that aimed to simplify and rationalise reporting formalities for ships in European ports as of June 2016, has unfortunately not helped in easing the situation. Crews and companies face a worse situation today than before. Rather than having a single European window, diverging national solutions were developed and even at Member States’ level there is very often no single solution in place. Such led to an increase of the administrative workload and the risk of seafarer fatigue, to the detriment of job satisfaction and smoothness of operations.
The social partners are very pleased the European Commission has now fully grasped the problems around the Reporting Formalities Directive and the urgency to address these. They welcome the launch of the Impact Assessment on a European Maritime Single Window (EMSW) environment and look forward to an ambitious proposal in spring 2018.
ETF and ECSA urge in particular Member States to be ambitious. Only through harmonisation can real simplification and reduction of undue administrative burden be achieved.
Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary General, commented: “We have the unique chance now to not only rectify things but to improve the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport. Maritime transport lies at the backbone of EU’s free movement of goods and services. For it to continue to function properly and competitively compared to other modes of transport the paperwork to fill in has to be reduced”.
“A harmonised system will allow the crew to focus on its core tasks, which is about secure and safe navigation”, added Philippe Alfonso, Political Secretary at ETF, “We urge all parties to have an open mind. Surely there are reporting requirements that can be dropped, information that can be re-used better and responsibilities of the various actors that can be clarified better. If this assessment is thoroughly done, this will result in a huge reduction of the administrative burden on crew and companies.”
Background: The European Community Shipowners’ Association and the European Transport Workers’ Federation have identified the administrative workload as a priority issue on their joint programme for the European Sectoral Social Dialogue.