AFIR and FuelEU Maritime: ESPO calls for cooperation and flexibility in the roll-out of onshore power supply to ensure smooth implementation of the legislation

By | 2023 Newsletter week 27 | No Comments

On Monday 10 July, the European Parliament will discuss in Strasbourg the final agreement on both the Regulation on the deployment of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (‘AFIR’) – which sets the framework for the deployment of onshore power supply (OPS) in ports – and the Regulation on the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport and amending Directive 2009/16/EC (‘FuelEU Maritime’) – which regulates the use of OPS by ships in EU ports. Both agreements will be voted on Wednesday 12 July. Once the Council has then formalised its agreement with the text, both AFIR and FuelEU Maritime are expected to enter into force shortly after.

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the final agreements, allowing ports, terminals and shipping lines to prepare for their implementation.

“The final adoption of the AFIR allows ports and all port stakeholders who are to play a role in the deployment of OPS to effectively prepare for compliance with the new rules. The development and use of new fuels and energy solutions, such as onshore power supply, is the most important pillar of greening the shipping sector. For ESPO, it is important that for the first time, the strict framework for deployment of OPS is accompanied by an obligation to use the infrastructure. The emissions at berth will only go down if the OPS installations are properly used. We now have to take the legislation to the quay and sit together with all relevant stakeholders including shipping lines and terminal operators to make quick progress ahead of 2030.”, says ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

To assist their members in the process of deploying and using OPS in Europe’s ports, ESPO has already been organising different workshops. During these workshops different challenges relating to deployment and use of OPS have already been identified.

Continue to read on the ESPO website

Passenger ports in Europe stress that more time is needed to set up the Entry Exit System (EES) without endangering smooth maritime passenger traffic

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ESPO finds that many of the necessary conditions for the entry into operation of the Entry/Exit System (EES), are not yet met. The level of implementation in most countries is behind schedule, insufficient information is available regarding the deployment of physical infrastructure and new operational procedures, and not enough funding has been provided.

Read more on the ESPO Website.

ETS Shipping (2): Europe’s ports call for early and robust action to prevent evasion

By | 2023 Newsletter week 16 | No Comments

ESPO welcomes the inclusion of maritime in the EU ETS1 as part of decarbonising shipping. Europe’s ports have consistently called for an ambitious maritime EU ETS that makes the green transition of maritime possible, whilst protecting the competitiveness of European ports.

Whilst ESPO welcomes that a price tag is being put on the emissions produced by ships, the geographical scope of the EU ETS Maritime agreement could still lead to evasive port calls where shipping companies can avoid paying into the ETS by adding a call to a port outside the EU, or by reconfiguring their routes.

ESPO welcomes the agreement on FuelEU Maritime to reduce emissions from shipping during navigation and at berth

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“We are pleased that for the first time there is an agreement on the greening ambitions for shipping, both during navigation and at berth. The requirements for ships when to use of electricity at berth, will hopefully break the chicken and egg discussion,” says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

“We hope however that the flexibility given to shipping lines to decide their own greening path, will also be mirrored in the upcoming agreement on AFIR (*). There is no time and no money to lose, for shipping lines nor for ports. Reducing emissions, fast and efficient, should be the main ambition. We hope the AFIR is also giving some flexibility to ports to prioritise investments in onshore power in ports where it makes the most sense.”

(*) AFIR Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation

Zeno d’Agostino elected as chair of ESPO

By | 2022 Newsletter week 45 | No Comments

ESPO’s General Assembly unanimously elected Zeno D’Agostino as its new Chair.

Mr D’Agostino is President of Port Network Authority of the Eastern Adriatic Sea since 2015 and has a long-standing career in transport and logistics. He succeeds Annaleena Mäkilä who chaired the organisation during the last two years.

The General Assembly also re-elected Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port as Vice Chair.

Ansis Zeltiņš, CEO of the Port of Riga, becomes the second Vice Chair.

ETS maritime should be workable and consistent avoiding carbon and business leakage

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FEPORT, ETA and ESPO, representing European ports, private port companies and terminal operators and tugowners support an effective and robust maritime EU ETS that enables the green transition of the maritime sector.

The three associations recognise and reiterate the need for the shipping sector to reduce emissions. It is for this reason that they support requirements for ships to reduce emissions, alongside requirements for the use and deployment of OPS where it makes sense in ports.

In relation to the EU ETS, they have the following three recommendations that should be taken into consideration in order to deliver an ambitious, robust, and effective emission trading system:


  1. Prevent evasion by ships from the EU ETS that would create carbon and business leakage.
  2. Earmark the revenues generated by a maritime EU ETS for investments in maritime and ports, especially in port infrastructure.
  3. Maintain the size threshold for vessels covered by the EU ETS as proposed by the European Commission (5000GT) to achieve ambitious and workable legislation.

The three are committed to facilitating the greening of shipping and will continue to support the discussions on the maritime aspects of the Fit for 55-package in order to deliver an ambitious, coherent and workable legislative framework.

Europe’s ports welcome the EP adoption of a maritime ETS that addresses the issue of carbon and business leakage

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On 22 June the European Parliament adopted its position on the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which includes an expansion of the ETS to include shipping emissions. ESPO welcomes the EP position that outlines an ambitious and robust ETS that includes measures to address, and if possible, avoid carbon and business leakage. ESPO also welcomes that the EP position includes earmarking of revenues for investments in ports and maritime.

In order for a regional ETS in the EU to be effective and aligned with the polluter pays principle, carbon leakage through rerouting of ships outside of the ETS scope must be avoided at all costs. If this is not addressed in the final legislation, the ETS would fail to effectively reduce emissions from ships whilst also producing a negative impact on the European port business.

European ports therefore strongly support the measures adopted by European Parliament making it less attractive for ships to change their routes, divert calls, or engage in other evasive behaviours in order to avoid paying into the EU ETS.

ESPO believes that the EP position provides a good basis to address carbon and business leakage in the ETS. The preventative measures included in the EP position should be included in the final ETS to be agreed between European Parliament and EU Member States.

European ports and Interferry agree priorities for sustainable future

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A meeting between ESPO and Interferry has agreed a common work programme to promote an environmentally sustainable future for the European ferry business through the provision and use of onshore power supply (OPS).

  1. Ferries must be recognised as a sustainable passenger transport mode.
  2. Ferry ports should act as soon as possible to deploy OPS, and ferry lines should commit to using OPS whenever it is available.
  3. Investments should initially be made where it makes most sense in terms of maximising emissions reductions per installation.
  4. Both ports and ferries call for a coherent and predictable framework that provides legal certainty for stakeholders.
  5. Huge investments require funding
  6. New fuels and technologies for greening the shipping industry should be encouraged and promoted, alongside development of the relevant safety and operational standards.

EU-wide tax exemption for electricity provided to ships at berth.

ESPO asks for ambitious and coherent legislation on provision and use of clean energy infrastructure for shipping

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Europe’s ports welcome that the review of the current AFIR proposal is accompanied by provisions in the new FuelEU Maritime Proposal, which requires vessels to use shore-side electricity infrastructure at berth.

The alignment of requirements between what ports need to do and the obligations for shipping lines to use the infrastructure is one of the main points of ESPO’s joint position on the maritime pillar of the proposal for an Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) and on the proposal for a FuelEU Maritime Regulation.

Europe’s ports ask for a full alignment of Article 9 of the AFIR proposal with Articles 4 and 5, as well as with Annex III of the FuelEU Maritime proposal.