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European Ports Laud Dismantling Levy Decision

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

19 April 2013


The European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO) has welcomed the decision of the European Parliament to dismiss plans to introduce a levy on all ships calling at European Union (EU) ports to support the sustainable dismantling of ships.

The proposal had been introduced earlier by Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). Instead, members of European Parliament (MEPs) approved an amended proposal commissioning the European Commission to submit by 2015 a legislative proposal for an incentive-based system for ship recycling.

It had been proposed that the levy would generate revenue for a "recycling fund," accessible for both EU and non-EU ships. Ship owners would be able choose between an annual levy and a fee per port call, while those undertaking to decommission ships at certain EU facilities would be exempt.

ESPO Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven welcomed the outcome of the vote, stating: "We understand the need to create an incentive for shipowners to opt for sustainable recycling, but the side-effects of the levy on the competitiveness of EU ports would have been very negative in terms of traffic evasion, changed ship calling patterns and modal back shift, not to mention the bureaucracy involved with it. By referring the task to create an incentive-based system to the Commission, there will be time to work out an adequate framework which would match the aim of creating sustainable conditions for ship recycling with respect for international rules and the competitiveness of European ports."

TAGS: environment | tax | marine

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