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


ETF’s Fair Shipping Conference – make shipping in Europe fair!

ETF will present its proposal for a European Maritime Space for Socially Sustainable Shipping during the Fair Shipping Conference on November 5, 2019. Join the debate and discuss alongside key policymakers from the European Commission, experts, and stakeholders!

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