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EC reports on efforts to promote short sea shipping

EC reports on efforts to promote short sea shipping

   The European Commission today reported on its efforts to promote short sea shipping, reviewing 14 actions introduced in 2003 to enhance the efficiency of short sea Shipping in Europe.

   'Motorways of the sea are a crucial initiative to make transportation of goods in Europe more efficient and environmentally friendly, said Jocques Barrot, European Commission vice president in charge of transport policy. The EC said 14 actions introduced in the original promotion program “appear to have been well chosen and work on all of them should continue.”

   The actions include:

   * Uniform reporting formalities for ships to enter or depart from EU ports.

   * Guidance for successful short sea promotion centers.

   * Elimination of obstacles that hinder the development of short sea shipping.

   The EC said an initial list of 161 bottlenecks identified in 2000 have been reduced to 35. Such bottlenecks range from complexity in customs documents and procedures for intra-EC trade to waiting times in ports for unloading ships.

   The report said the ton-kilometer performance of short sea shipping in the EU-25 improved 32 percent from 1995 to 2004, compared to road performance growth of 35 percent. The fastest growing segment of short sea shipping is containerized cargo with average yearly growth rates of 8.8 percent since 2000.