ENVIRONMENT effectively means that some countries are “ECA-blocked” while other countries in Europe’s north, south and west have coastlines both in and outside the ECA. A number of countries in southern Europe remain completely outside the ECA. ECA-blocked countries—those whose waters lie exclusively within the ECA including the Baltic states, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, among others—are at a distinct disadvantage, therefore. Coastal and short-sea shipping, and in some cases, deepsea imports and exports will become significantly more expensive in ECA-blocked states, sources predict. DSA has become increasingly concerned about the lack of fair competition between European shipping companies. In contrast, according to the DSA’s Hansen, there is no possibility of any distortion of competition in the U.S. on environmental grounds. “There,” he says, “it’s a fair situation because it’s the same cost put on all ship owners operating in the area.” In Europe, there is no uniform system for implementing the new regulations; for gauging compliance, or for policing. So, in a bid to try and establish a uniform inspection regime in Europe’s ECA, the DSA approached Port State Control (PSC) officials in Paris and asked whether a concentrated inspection campaign could be established to enforce compliance. The DSA was told that such a campaign was not really necessary or possible at the present time. On the other side of the water, however, things are very different. European industry representatives point out that no-one messes with the U.S. Coast Guard for fear of having their vessel detained. Various new technologies could be deployed in Europe to enforce the new fuel regulations, says Hansen, including drones. But he comes back to the fundamental point that the system has to be policed and seen to be fair to everyone. ■
NEW ECA RULES CAUSE DISMAY AT DFDS COPENHAGEN-BASED FERRY AND LOGISTICS FIRM DFDS has spent €80 million ($110 million) on scrubbers for 10 ferries in its fleet in order to comply with Europe’s new ECA regulations next January 1st. Another eight or nine ships will have scrubbers fitted over the next two years but will burn marine diesel oil from the beginning of 2015. However, some of the company’s older vessels could not be fitted with scrubbers, either on financial or technical grounds, or lack of space, according to President and CEO Niels Smedegaard. Without scrubber installations, he says the company’s annual bunker bill would have soared from €250 million ($342 million) to €360 million ($493 million). IMO’s regulations have fundamentally transformed the operating economics of the company, Smedegaard declares. Many of its long-established routes lie in ECA waters and companies like DFDS with complex networks in northern Europe, he says, are being unfairly penalized. The huge investment DFDS has made in scrubber technology simply cannot be passed on to customers who have other options on many routes including road and rail. And Smedegaard simply can’t understand why repeated attempts to raise financial support from the Danish Government and/or the European Commission have fallen on deaf ears. Their lack of support, he suggests, will have quite the opposite effect of that which the IMO intended. Shippers will choose the cheapest transport option and on some routes, that may well be road or rail. Inevitably ship operators will close down some services, forcing even more cargo back to landbased transport modes.
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30 MARINE LOG June 2014
Published on Jun 17, 2014