Tag Archives: Combined transport

Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission: Programme for the Promotion of Short Sea Shipping [COM(2003) 155 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The White Paper on European transport policy for 2010 highlights the role that short sea shipping can play in curbing the growth of heavy goods vehicle traffic, rebalancing the modal split and bypassing land bottlenecks. The development of short sea shipping can also help to reduce the growth of road transport, restore the balance between modes of transport, bypass bottlenecks and contribute to sustainable development and safety.

The Commission’s programme contains a set of 14 actions subdivided into measures, and mentions the actors responsible and the timetable (2003-2010) for each measure. The programme describes legislative, technical and operational initiatives which are aimed at developing short sea shipping at EU, national, regional and industry levels.

The legislative actions consist of:

  • implementation of the Directive on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of EU countries – this directive simplifies the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport by requiring EU countries to recognise the standard International Maritime Organisation (IMO) FAL forms which make it possible to obtain all the necessary information regarding a ship’s arrival and departure in document form. This directive on reporting formalities has now been replaced by Directive 2010/65/EU which establishes a standard electronic transmission of data;
  • implementation of the Marco Polo programme – the Marco Polo and Marco Polo II programme, with an average annual budget of €18.75 million, is aimed at shifting 12 billion tonne-kilometres a year of road freight to short sea shipping, rail and inland waterways;
  • standardisation and harmonisation of intermodal loading units – the multitude of different configurations of intermodal loading units (containers and swap-bodies) creates delays when moving from one mode of transport to another;
  • development of ‘motorways of the sea’ – motorways of the sea should make it possible to bypass land bottlenecks in Europe as part of comprehensive door-to-door logistics chains, by offering efficient, regular and frequent services that can compete with road, particularly in terms of transit time and price;
  • improvement of the environmental performance of short sea shipping – maritime transport is, in general, less harmful to the environment per tonne or passenger carried. A modal shift to short sea shipping could, for example, contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol;

The technical actions consist of:

  • a guide to customs procedures for short sea shipping – the Commission has published a guide to customs procedures for short sea shipping which has a dual purpose: firstly, to explain the customs rules, indicating opportunities for using simplified procedures (the basis for the second objective) and, secondly, to identify specific needs for further simplification;
  • identification and elimination of obstacles to making short sea shipping more successful – since 1999 the Commission has been making a list of the factors hampering the development of short sea shipping. These obstacles can be classified into five categories: its old-fashioned image, its complex administrative procedures, the lack of efficiency at ports, inconsistency in the application of rules and procedures among EU countries and the fact that it is not integrated into the intermodal logistics chain;
  • alignment of the national application and computerisation of EU customs procedures – the ‘eCustoms’ initiative is aimed at speeding up and simplifying the procedures involved in declaring cargo. One of the first tasks in this initiative is to implement the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS), which will replace the paperwork required by the Single Administrative Document (SAD) procedure, in some 3 000 customs offices in 22 countries;
  • research and technological development – the objectives of this research are to improve the quality, safety, security and environmental performance of maritime transport. A thematic network for short sea shipping has been established within the framework of the Sixth Framework Programme, to carry out research directly related to short sea shipping.

The operational actions consist of:

  • One-Stop Administrative Shops in ports – aimed at simplifying the formalities relating to the arrival, departure and clearance of ships. A ‘one-stop shop’ limits the number of administrative authorities boarding and checking every ship, as well as offering port users a single contact point or help-desk for administrative formalities;
  • ensuring the vital role of Short Sea Shipping Focal Points – it is necessary to ensure continuous cooperation between the focal points and the Commission by organising regular meetings and also to ensure a continuous flow of information via the internet-based tool ‘CIRCA’ (Communication and Information Resource Centre Administrator). The accession countries also need to be involved in this work in order to raise their awareness of the importance of short sea shipping;
  • maintaining the efficient operation and guidance of Short Sea Promotion Centres – these centres are driven by business interests and offer a practical tool to promote short sea shipping at a national level. The national centres are presently being integrated into the European Short Sea Network (ESN) which provides a common tool for the promotion of short sea shipping in Europe. The aim of this network is to exchange information and best practices and also to provide practical advice covering the various stages of a short-sea journey;
  • promoting the image of short sea shipping as a successful transport alternative – short sea shipping needs to acquire a more modern, dynamic image by highlighting its current potential, i.e. its speed, reliability, flexibility, regularity and high degree of cargo safety;
  • collection of statistical information – EU statistics on short sea shipping trade are not sufficiently detailed. The objective is to collect information on short sea shipping from the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) until the directive on maritime statistics provides sufficient information to enable comparisons to be made.

Freight transport logistics in Europe

Freight transport logistics in Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Freight transport logistics in Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Bodies and objectives

Freight transport logistics in Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission on freight transport logistics in Europe, the key to sustainable mobility [COM(2006) 336 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Globalisation and EU enlargement to the east have created new challenges for European transport. The fast growth of freight transport contributes to the economy but also causes congestion, noise, pollution and accidents. At the same time, transport has become increasingly dependent upon fossil fuels. The communication from the Commission states that, without adequate measures, the situation will continue to worsen and increasingly undermine Europe’s competitiveness and the environment that we all live in.

The Commission therefore recommends modernising logistics to boost the efficacy of individual modes of transport and their combinations. In particular it recommends a better distribution of traffic towards more environmentally friendly, safer and more energy efficient modes of transport. The Commission plans to present an action plan on this subject in 2007.

State of the European logistics market

The global logistics industry is estimated at roughly EUR 5.4 trillion, or 13.8 % of the global GDP. On average, logistics costs account for 10-15 % of the final cost of the finished product. Although logistics is becoming increasingly important, there is a lack of reliable statistical information on the situation. Nonetheless, EU companies do increasingly recognise that there are competitive alternatives to road freight.

Linking logistics and transport policy more closely

The communication from the Commission reiterates the need to balance security (see [COM(2006) 79]) and the free flow of transport. It is in favour of dovetailing logistics into transport policy so that logistics becomes an underlying factor in decision-making.

The Commission proposes action in the following areas:

  • identifying bottlenecks. The Commission wants to identify bottlenecks in order to address these obstacles to the free flow of transport and logistics;
  • extracting value from information and communications technology networks. The Commission proposes linking systems such as GALILEO to logistics to track and trace cargo. Companies should also have easy, low-cost access to this technology. Logistics should thus remain a priority under the 7th Framework Programme for Research;
  • establishing European certification. Education and training in transport varies greatly in Europe. The Commission is therefore in favour of setting up a certification scheme for logistics specialists. Work in this field has already been undertaken under the Leonardo Da Vinci programme on vocational training;
  • developing statistical indicators. The Commission is keen to create a reliable picture of the logistics performance of the European transport market. To this end, it plans to work on devising suitable methodologies and indicators;
  • better use of infrastructure. Some situations create bottlenecks and undermine the free flow of traffic. However, building new infrastructure is not the only solution to the problem. The Commission considers that transhipment facilities, including seaports and airports, should employ modern technological solutions such as advance informatics. Rules should provide the appropriate framework for progressing this aspect;
  • recognising quality. The transport industry already uses a number of performance indicators or benchmarks to assess and control its service quality (air transport in particular). A quality label could be created and extended to logistics chains using other modes of transport;
  • simplifying multimodal chains. Flows could be simplified and assisted by a one-stop administrative interface where all customs formalities are carried out in a coordinated way;
  • promoting a regulatory structure or worldwide multimodality. Responsibility in international transport arises from conventions. Often they provide different rules for different modes of transport, which is an obstacle to using combined modes. The Commission therefore promotes the creation of a worldwide regulatory structure. The fragmented nature of liability regimes could also be relieved by the use of a comprehensive transport document;
  • establishing European loading standards. The rules on the dimensions of vehicles and loading units should match the needs of advanced logistics and sustainable mobility. The Commission has proposed common European standards for intermodal loading units. At present there are a multitude of different configurations, which increases the costs of intra-EU transport.

Background

In 1997 the Commission published a communication on intermodality, which underscored the importance of intermodality for making European freight transport more efficient and environmentally friendly. The text put forward a number of strategies to promote “sustainable mobility”, including the modernisation of logistics systems. It also announced that the PACT programme would be replaced by Marco Polo. In 2001, the mid-term review of the White Paper [COM(2006) 314 – Not published in the Official Journal] highlighted the importance of logistics. This communication places logistics at the heart of “sustainable mobility”.

Related Acts

Council Directive 92/106/EEC of 7 December 1992 on the establishment of common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods between Member States [OJ L 368, 17.12.1992].

The Marco Polo II programme

The Marco Polo II programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Marco Polo II programme

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

The Marco Polo II programme

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing the second Marco Polo programme for the granting of Community financial assistance to improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system (Marco Polo II) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1382/2003 [See amending act].

Summary

The Marco Polo II programme pursues the same objectives as the first Marco Polo programme. It is designed to reduce congestion and improve the environmental performance of the intermodal transport system, thereby contributing to an efficient and sustainable transport system which provides European Union (EU) added value without having a negative impact on economic, social or territorial cohesion. However, Marco Polo II includes some new features.

The Marco Polo II programme provides for wider geographical coverage. It covers actions involving the territory of at least two EU countries or the territory of at least one EU country and the territory of a close non-EU country.

The following actions are eligible:

  • catalyst actions: actions aimed at overcoming significant structural barriers in the EU freight transport market which impede the efficient functioning of the markets, the competitiveness of short sea shipping, rail or inland waterway transport, and/or the efficiency of transport chains which make use of these modes. They are aimed at improving synergies in the rail, inland waterway and short sea shipping sectors, including motorways of the sea, by making better use of existing infrastructure;
  • modal shift actions: actions aimed at shifting freight from road to short sea shipping, rail, inland waterways or a combination of modes of transport. The objective is to keep road journeys as short as possible;
  • common learning actions: actions aimed at improving cooperation for structurally optimising working methods and procedures in the freight transport chain, taking the requirements of logistics into account;
  • motorways of the sea: an idea introduced by the 2001 White Paper on European transport policy. Motorways of the sea are aimed at directly shifting a proportion of freight from road to short sea shipping or a combination of short sea shipping and other modes of transport in which road journeys are as short as possible. For example, motorways of the sea could be established between France and Spain to eliminate the road traffic bottleneck in the Pyrenees;
  • traffic avoidance actions: any innovative action aimed at integrating transport into the production logistics of businesses to avoid a large percentage of freight transport by road without adversely affecting production output or workforce capability.

The Commission is also examining the possibility of supporting the creation or modification of ancillary infrastructure which is required and appropriate for the successful completion of projects.

Actions must be submitted by undertakings or consortia established in EU countries or participating countries, which includes candidate countries for EU accession and EFTA, EEA and close non-EU countries subject to certain conditions. Undertakings established outside of the participating countries above may be associated with a project, but may not receive EU funding under the programme. Aid for the launch of actions must be transparent, objective and clearly delimited. EU financial assistance is based on the number of tonne-kilometres transferred from the road to other means of sea or land transport or the number of vehicle-kilometres of road freight avoided. The objective is to reward high-quality projects. Distortions of competition must be avoided in the selection procedure.

The programme pays special attention to sensitive and metropolitan areas. The Commission evaluates the actions submitted, taking account of their contribution to reducing road congestion, but also their relative environmental merits and their overall sustainability.

The EU financial assistance for the various actions is limited to a maximum of 35 % of the total expenditure necessary to achieve the objectives of the action and incurred as a result of it. In the case of common learning actions, the ceiling is 50 %. The Marco Polo II programme has a wider scope than its predecessor and a larger budget of EUR 400 million.

The Commission must present an evaluation report on the results of the Marco Polo I programme for the period 2003 to 2006 by 30 June 2007.

Background

The Marco Polo II programme, which covers the period 2007 to 2013, is an extended version of the initial programme set up in 2003, which was oversubscribed and inadequately funded: in the four selection procedures for the first Marco Polo programme the Commission received proposals covering a level of assistance of EUR 468 million but only had a budget of EUR 100 million.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006

14.12.2006

OJ L 328, 24.11.2006

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 923/2009

10.10.2009

OJ L 266, 9.10.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.