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Displaying items by tag: EU

The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional political agreement on amending the current legislation in order to improve stability requirements for roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) passenger ships.

The amended directive will play an important part in ensuring the safety of these vessels in the EU, in accordance with the new international standards in the field (SOLAS Convention).

‘Ro-ro’ passenger ships provide numerous maritime links within member states, between member states and with third countries. They are therefore of major importance to passenger and freight transport in Europe. The revised directive is also a direct consequence of one of the worst maritime accidents in European waters, the sinking of the ‘Estonia’ in 1994.

The new legislation ensures, as far as possible, consistency with international standards for the stability of damaged passenger ships, which were recently updated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the 2020 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention).

The IMO is introducing a new model for assessing the survivability of damaged ro-ro passenger ships, as well as new related requirements. However, these new international standards appear to be insufficient in the light of the requirements already in force in the Union for new small vessels, which is why the new law maintains a level of safety requirements equivalent to existing Union law for those ships.

The revised directive also aims to strengthen fleet entry requirements within the Union for existing large vessels that have not yet been certified in the Union. The text of the provisional political agreement maintains the general purpose of the initial Commission proposal, with the exception of the extension of the transposition deadline from 12 to 18 months.

Next Steps

Today’s provisional political agreement is now subject to approval by the two co-legislators. On the Council side, the Czech presidency intends to submit the agreement to the member states’ representatives (Coreper) as soon as possible with a view to its formal approval by the Council.

To dowload the Commission proposal, click here for further links.   

Also available here is the Directive 2003/25/EU.

Published in Ferry

Senior figures from EU member states have threatened a strong response to the UK's legislation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz yesterday hinted at trade measures against the UK, while the EU's chief negotiator, Maroš Šefčovič, said the European Commission could resume legal action against London.

Mr Šefčovič will brief members of the European Parliament later today.

Last night, one senior EU figure after another denounced the UK bill that would tear up the protocol.

Mr Scholz said the EU had its entire toolbox at its disposal, in other words, the EU could take retaliatory trade measures.

Senior Italian, Dutch and Austrian ministers all accused the UK of threatening to break international law.

The European Commission waited until the bill was laid before the House of Commons before responding.

Mr Šefčovič said the EU would not renegotiate the protocol.

More from RTE's report with business leaders sounding a note of caution.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Union (Minimum Safety and Health Requirements for Improved Medical Treatment on Board Vessels) Regulations 2021 transpose into Irish law European Council Directive 92/29/EEC (as amended) concerning the minimum health and safety requirements for improved medical treatment on board vessels.

These regulations give effect to the directive in full, included amendments to the annexes set out in European Commission Directive (EU) 2019/1834 detailing requirements of medical supplies and equipment to be carried on board for each category of vessel.

In line with the requirements set out in the annexes to the revised directive, the medicine and required dosage under each category is outlined in Marine Notice No 60 of 2021 (available to download below) in order to assist vessel owners in complying with the directive.

Owners and masters of Irish vessels are required to comply with the requirements of the amended directive as of this past Saturday 20 November.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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European Commission is expected in December to publish its proposal for reviewing the Trans European Network for Energy (TEN-E) Guidelines Regulation of 2013.

According to the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) they welcomed the revision but in order for the review to align with the Green Deal objectives European ports stress the importance of recognising the central role of ports in Europe’s new energy systems.

“As European ports, we welcome the upcoming review of the TEN-E network and are excited to help Europe on the path towards a net-zero energy network by 2050. Nonetheless, we stress the need for the European Commission to recognise ports as key actors and partners in the energy transition. There are a huge amount of activities in ports that enable clean energy, from production and storage to import and hinterland distribution. We therefore urge the Commission to make sure they recognise the important role of ports”, noted Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary-General of ESPO.

Europe’s Ports are key players in the energy sectors. They are particularly important in the development of the hydrogen economy: From production and storage facilities to fuelling, recharging and distribution, ports will need to invest heavily to support the ramp-up of hydrogen in Europe. This extends to imports and related facilities, alongside facilities to convert offshore renewable energy into green hydrogen, a prerequisite for the hydrogen economy to reach European Green Deal aims.

Ports also play a key role in the production and distribution of other fuels. This is not, however, recognised in the current TEN-E legislation, where few ports active in energy systems are included in the project corridors. ESPO underlines that this oversight cannot be repeated when hydrogen is included in the legislation. Ports’ role must be reconsidered in the context of the other energy carriers.

TEN-E Guidelines Regulation 347/2013/EC has the aim of linking energy infrastructures in the EU. It was adopted in 2013 alongside the Trans European Transport (TEN-T) and Telecommunication Networks (eTEN). Similar to the TEN-T network, the TEN-E legislation is based around 9 corridors relating to electricity, oil and gas and 3 thematic areas (where cross-border carbon dioxide networks are included). The Commission began its revision of the TEN-E policy in early 2020 with one key motivation being to bring the legislation in line with the goals of the European Green Deal.

ESPO’s priorities on the forthcoming TEN-E review can be downloaded here.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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#Ports&Shipping - Irish exporters reports RTE, have called for an urgent intensification of no-deal contingency planning by the government and the EU in the face of heightened uncertainty around Brexit.

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) has warned that the risk of a disorderly exit by Britain from the EU has increased following the delayed vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and today’s no-confidence vote on Theresa May’s leadership.

According to Simon McKeever, chief executive of the IEA, the potential economic impacts of the UK crashing out of the EU next year will be "immediate, extensive and far-reaching for Irish businesses."

For more on the story click here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Trade - European importers of pleasure craft from the US have already been impacted by new EU tariffs that add an average of €20,000 per boat.

According to Boating Business, dealers across Europe have been placing orders for new boats on hold since the tariffs came into effect in June as part of the response to the Trump administration’s steel and aluminium levies.

Yacht transport companies are also affected by the situation as the majority of their small boat business is from the US to European markets, says logistics specialists Peters & May.

The new rules apply to all pleasure craft in transit since 22 June, regardless of size, with only inflatable boats excepted.

And the increase from 17% to 25% on import costs is having what are perhaps unintended consequences for European brokers.

“The duty is intended to protect our industries, but we sell waterski and wakeboard boats which are not made over here,” says Jason Bates of Nautique Midlands in the UK.

Boating Business has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Trade
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#ports&shipping - Following the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) attendance of last week's LISW17, the Irish government shipping agency will also be attending the Connecting Europe Conference taking place this week in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

The IMDO will also be exhibiting at the two-day event held at the Nordea Concert Hall between 21-22 September.

The event is being organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of the Republic of Estonia.

At the Connecting Europe Facility Conference in Tallinn, a number of key Irish ports and enterprising marine companies in areas of ICT and digitalisation will exhibit together with Ireland’s Marine Development Team and the Irish Maritime Development Office to communicate Ireland’s marine opportunity.

Our delegation is keen to build connections for potential collaborations in future projects, especially in the in the area of research, and to discuss Ireland's strengths in areas such as Digital Ocean, Smart Ports and the development of Ireland's ICT cluster.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Fishing - Marine Minister Simon Coveney today (Wednesday 20 May) welcomed an EU Commission proposal for a comprehensive prohibition on commercial fishing for seabass in the Irish and Celtic Seas which underpins the conservation actions already taken by Ireland with regard to this vulnerable stock.

“Ireland has had stringent measures in place for the protection of seabass, a very important angling species, for a long number of years. However, those measures only applied to Irish vessels," said the minister.

"I have been very active over the past six months, lobbying the EU Commission and relevant member states on this issue. I am delighted that the EU finally recognises the lead taken by Ireland by extending our ban on commercial fishing to all EU vessels operating in the waters around Ireland.”

Minister Coveney added: “The scientific advice for seabass is very worrying and we must all do our utmost to protect this stock.  Ireland has been to the forefront in being the only EU member state to afford maximum protection to this stock and today’s proposal will enhance that protection by making the Irish model obligatory for all EU vessels in the Irish & Celtic Seas.”

Once the measures are approved by the Council of Ministers, all commercial fishing for seabass will be prohibited in the waters around Ireland. Details of the prohibition areas are included HERE.

Published in Fishing
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#lighthouses – A "brand new experience to take your breath away", that's the promise from Great Lighthouses of Ireland, a new EU INTERREG IVA funded tourism initiative being launched by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

Featuring twelve lighthouses in stunning coastal locations, Great Lighthouses of Ireland will offer memorable, enriching experiences that inspire the senses, refresh the spirit and fire curiosity, creating a deep appreciation of the role of the sea, lighthouses, past and present, and the maritime and seafaring story of the island of Ireland.
With a range of services from accommodation to visitor centres and guided tours, visitors from home and abroad will have the chance to explore the distinct experiences offered by the lighthouses, each reflecting its own history and heritage, nature and environment, people and place, with aspects to appeal to people of all ages and interests.

The Great Lighthouses of Ireland project is supported by the European Union's INTERREG IVA cross-border Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The ambitious and imaginative cross-border project will include the preservation and conservation of the island of Ireland's important maritime and lighthouse heritage. Great Lighthouses is built on a sustainable economic model and the re-invention of individual lighthouses as visitor attractions and specialist self-catering accommodation that can contribute to local communities in terms of jobs and specialist tourism.

Irish Lights operate over seventy lighthouses around the coast of Ireland. These lighthouses, including the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, still play a vital role in maritime safety.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland partners include the Irish Landmark Trust, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, Forbairt Fhanada Teoranta (Fanad Community Group), Clare County Council, Ballycotton Lighthouse Tours, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Hook Heritage limited, Valentia Island Development Company, Kerry County Council and Clare Island Lighthouse. Great Lighthouses of Ireland is also supported by Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland
St John's Point, Co Donegal
Fanad Head, Co Donegal
Rathlin West Light, Co Antrim
Blackhead, Co Antrim
St John's Point, Co Down
Wicklow Head, Co Wicklow
Hook, Co Wexford
Ballycotton, Co Cork
Galley Head, Co Cork
Valentia Island, Co Kerry
Loop Head, Co Clare
Clare Island, Co Mayo

#powerfromthesea – Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Alex White T.D. welcomed the announcement that the SFI Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) had successfully raised an additional €4.2 million in funding from EU research funds for marine energy activities.

The announcement of the substantial EU funding was made to an audience of more than 130 industry and university representatives involved in a variety of marine energy research projects, attending the MaREI Industry Open Day at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork.

"I want to commend MaREI on their success in securing substantial EU support to fund their very important research and development work. It is truly laying the foundations for both the energy system and economic opportunity of the future."

Speaking at the MaREI Industry Open Day, Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added, "MaREI is one of twelve SFI Research Centres of excellence and impact in Ireland. Research undertaken at MaREI is positioning Ireland to play a leading role in marine renewable energy research which is an area of significant national strategic importance. In its first year MaREI has delivered on the targets which we have set. I look forward to a successful year ahead for MaREI, in terms of new industry partnerships, leveraging funding and new discoveries that will deliver solutions that can benefit both Irish society and the economy."

Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Director of the MaREI Centre said that "Large and small companies alike are engaging with MaREI across a huge variety of business opportunities from marine robotics and new materials to endure ocean conditions, to offshore wind, wave and marine energy and mooring devices as well as aquaculture and grid technology solutions. The additional funding from the EU will serve to further position MaREI at the forefront of marine renewable research and commercialisation of this research globally."

The industry-academia MaREI Centre comprises over 45 industry partners, including global market leaders in energy, marine technology, software and hardware providers. Academic partners include lead partner University College Cork along with Cork Institute of Technology, University of Limerick, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, University College Dublin and the Marine Institute.

"MaREI will directly create companies and jobs and serve as a catalyst for Ireland to establish a safe, sustainable and profitable energy supply for domestic use and for export," said Professor Anita Maguire, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University College Cork.

Minister Alex White also toured the €15 million UCC Beaufort building, performing the customary "topping out" ceremony, which marks the final phase of building works. Beaufort will house the MaREI centre on its completion in July 2015.

The MaREI Centre initially received government support of €19 million through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and a further €10.5 million investment from industry partners. The Centre supports job creation in the in marine renewables sector, while also making Ireland an international focus for the marine energy industry. Almost 90 jobs in the field of marine energy and maritime projects were recently announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence Simon Coveney, T.D. for the Cork Harbour region, and MaREI is heavily involved in supporting these companies and the related jobs.

Published in Power From the Sea
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