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American Shipper

New EU entrants join European port group

New EU entrants join European port group

   Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia, six countries that will join the European Union next year, have formally become members of the European Sea Ports Organization, the Brussels-based port lobby group.

   The general assembly of the European Sea Ports Organization endorsed the full membership of the EU new entrants at a meeting in Riga, Latvia, on Nov. 6-7.

   Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, Cyprus and Slovenia were already present in the port organization as observers. Estonia is also expected to join the port group by the end of this year.

   During the Riga meeting, the European Sea Ports Organization discussed the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security code of the International Maritime Organization and forthcoming European port security legislation.

   The organization also debated the European directive on market access to port services, which is likely to go through a final vote in the European Parliament next week.

   The general assembly of the European Sea Ports Organization decided to set up an ad hoc group to “look at ways of improving the link between ports and society.” Its aim will be to underline “the socio-economic value of the port sector, which is often neglected or underestimated by policy-makers and stakeholders,” the port group said.

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