The EU Social Partners in the maritime sector, ECSA and ETF, welcome the adoption by Members of the European Parliament of the proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment. They look forward to the soon expected formal adoption by the Council in order for the Regulation to enter into force and deliver on the much-awaited administrative simplification for shipping.
For several years now the maritime transport social partners have called for a reduction of the administrative burden for shipping. The endless paperwork faced today is detrimental to the motivation and functioning of the masters and officers working onboard and the onshore shipping companies’ staff, as well as to smooth shipping operations in ports.
ECSA and ETF believe the new Regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment will bring harmonisation and re-use of information and can reduce the administrative burden on crew and operators caused by the previous Reporting Formalities Directive. With the adoption of the Regulation, shipping is a big step closer to enjoying a genuine single market with true facilitation and simplification.
ETF and ECSA are pleased to see that there will be a harmonised, exhaustive list of the data elements that needs to be provided. Additional requirements can only be allowed in exceptional and duly justified circumstances.
They welcome in particular that harmonised spreadsheets will be developed and accepted in any port and that manual reporting can be done via a user-friendly graphical user interface that must be constructed and look in such a way that one can easily navigate through it and fulfill the reporting obligations whatever port is called at.
These two elements will mean a tangible benefit for the involved staff, whether on board or in the office. ECSA and ETF welcome that Member States will be ensuring the provision of adequate and necessary training for staff directly involved in the operation of the maritime National Single Window and stress the importance of having training for masters, officers, onshore staff of shipping companies as well as of authorities. ETF and ECSA see such training as an opportunity to enhance communication between ship and shore and contribute to mutual understanding and support between crew onboard and onshore staff. Such training should provide the right people with the right skills.
Once the Council will have given the green light, the implementation of the Regulation can start, and ECSA and ETF call upon the Commission and Member States to stick to the ambition of the proposal: a real single market for shipping without an administrative burden on crew. ETF and ECSA stand ready to provide their expertise in the implementation phase.