Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
On 24 September the Transport Committee of the European Parliament supported removal of tax barriers for the uptake of shore-side electricity supply (OPS) in ports for ships at berth.
It was in the EP that the Ertug report on the deployment of infrastructure for alternative fuels in the EU* was voted by the Transport Committee and where it was pointed out that taxation has a major impact on the price competitiveness of alternative fuels. Furthermore, it was emphasised that disparities in energy taxation for shore-side supply for ships should be addressed. This was reported by the European Sea Ports’ Organisation (ESPO) on 25 September.
European ports are indicated to have welcome the vote in the Parliament and believe that energy taxation on electricity has been a significant barrier for the uptake of shore-side electricity for ships, being often the reason why it does not make a strong business case.
Currently, electricity produced from the combustion of marine fuel on board of ships is tax-exempt. But, when ships at berth are plugging into the shore-side electricity system, they have to pay taxes applied to electricity. It is understood that Sweden, Germany and Denmark have been provided under the Energy Taxation Directive with a permit to temporarily apply a reduced rate of taxation to shore-side electricity for ships.
ESPO believes that a permanent and EU-wide tax exemption for the use of shore-side electricity under the Energy Taxation Directive, would put it on an equal footing with electricity generated on board of ships produced from the combustion of tax-exempted marine fuel.
In the words of ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost: ‘Ports in Europe are investing a lot in onshore-side electricity infrastructure (OPS). Tax barriers, which make it for ships more expensive to plug in, have resulted in OPS installations which are often underused. This vote in the Parliament gives a strong signal. A permanent and European tax exemption for shore-side electricity for ships at berth would take away a great disadvantage of using electricity and would enhance its uptake, allowing ports and their surrounding communities to reap the environmental benefits of these costly investments.
‘Uptake of OPS would contribute to further improving air quality and achieving the EU climate targets. On top of that it reduces the noise of ships at berth. We now hope that the message also reaches the Commission, the national governments and the Ministers in charge of taxation issues.’
ESPO welcomed that the Evaluation and Fitness Check Roadmap of the European Commission on the evaluation of the Energy Taxation Directive (2017) made a reference to an exemption on shore-side electricity for ships.
The illustration shown is: © European Union 2014 - European Parliament. (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license).
Readers may find more information about ESPO’s position here: https://www.espo.be/media/2018.06.18-ESPO%20position%20on%20energy%20taxation%20consultation.pdf
More than 250 participants had the opportunity last month to nurture and deepen the good relationship between Hamburg and St Petersburg at the Port Evening staged by Port of Hamburg in St Petersburg.
Since 1957 Hamburg and St Petersburg have developed strong economic, cultural, social and scientific contacts. The ports of both cities have had good business contacts yet with the politically tense situation existing Hamburg and St Petersburg are still maintaining their dialogue and close business cooperation.
15 years ago Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM) opened a representative office in St Petersburg. In honour of this anniversary Dr Torsten Sevecke, State Secretary, for the Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, travelled to St Petersburg at HHM’s invitation.
HAMBURG PILOTS’ CHOIR
ANNUAL CONCERT 2018
Thursday 8 November 2018 at 1900
According to Captain Dieter Wulf, the Hamburg Pilots’ Choir will perform their Annual concert in St Ansgar’s Church / Kleiner Michel in Michaelisstrasse 5 Hamburg (S-Bahnhof Stadhausbrücke) on Thursday 8 November 2018 at 1900.