According to the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Hellenic Coastal Shipping is currently facing many and serious challenges. The most significant ones are the energy crisis (high fuel cost, increased fares) as well as the transition to “green shipping”, which requires the renewal of the coastal fleet at an estimated cost of EUR 11 billion. In that direction, the Chairman of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Dr Georgios Pateras, submitted nine proposals:
- Further reduction of VAT below 13% at ferry tickets, so that they become more attractive to passengers. Cheaper ferry ticket means increased public revenue from VAT on the islands (increased passengers), exceeding the revenue from VAT on fares.
- Acceleration of procedures for the completion of the long-awaited extension of the suburban railway to the ports of Lavrio and Rafina. The specific infrastructure will offer faster sea travel by 2-4 hours as well as equal amount of fuel saving.
- Consistent adherence of the States’ obligations for the timely payment of the leases for the public interest lines as well as the transport equivalent. There is also necessity for the re-adjustment of the subsides for the subsidized lines in order to cover the additional fuel cost.
- Use of alternative fuel (LNG) in ships whose engines can be converted to dual fuel provided the operation of a network supplying this type of fuel to the ships. LNG is considered a transition fuel but not considered “blue or green”.
- Utilization of the ETS (Emission Trading Scheme) funds for the decarbonization of coastal shipping.
- Long-term public service contracts for the newbuilding ferries.
- Increasing competition in the supply of port services.
- Access to financial resources (grants) of the Recovery and Resilience Fund (Development Law) for installation of Energy Saving Devices in the existing fleet and financing of the “green part” of newbuilding ships.
- Reimbursement of the mandatory discounts
Hellenic Coastal Shipping serves 140 ports in 116 islands with 180 ferry connections. It contributes 7,4% to the total GDP (EUR 13,6 billion), while the sector’s total contribution to employment is 332.000 jobs (8,5% of total employment) and to public revenues EUR 3 billion (data refer to 2019).