Fair Shipping for Europe

Our campaign for a European maritime space free of social dumping

The Fair Shipping Campaign is an integral part of the Fair Transport Europe Campaign. It strives for the creation of a European maritime space without social dumping, where fair employment conditions for all crew would apply. 

What do we mean by social dumping in maritime transport? Working conditions for crews are determined by the country where a ship is registered and whose flag the ship is flying. This means that many ships trading in EU waters do not have the obligation to respect EU legislation regarding labour rights and conditions, because they fly the flag of a non-EU country. This can be the case even when ships are owned by European companies, including those who benefit from state aid schemes such as tonnage tax. Such companies are often trying to reduce costs, but this leaves European seafarers exposed to unfair competition from seafarers outside Europe in a way that workers on land are not. Even European seafarers who do find work in the sector may not enjoy the same rights as European shore-based workers. 

The Fair Shipping Campaign aims to put a stop to this unjust situation by promoting the development of a European Maritime Space. This reform would bring the maritime sector in line with on-land businesses, meaning that all shipping services operating in EU waters would have to follow EU and/or member state legislation. This would offer fair employment conditions for all crew, regardless of their nationality or place of residence, and protect EU seafarers from unfair competition on the basis of cost and low standards. 

Latest news

Statement March 13, 2020

“People must be put first!” – ETF reaction to the Opatija Declaration

On Wednesday, EU Transport Ministers adopted the Opatija Declaration on the future outlook of EU Waterborne Transport.
ETF welcomes the attention given to some of the ongoing industry challenges, and at the same time highlights several points that we believe merit further consideration and follow-up both of the EU Member States and the European Commission.

Event February 25, 2020

The future of European Shipping needs to be social!

Last week, European Shipping Week 2020 was held in Brussels, organised by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA). This year, the ETF Maritime Transport section took part in a variety of ways, with trade union representatives from nine different countries attending and contributing to the programme.

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