European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) reiterated its support of the European Green Deal but called for more protection for the EU shipping industry to help mitigate the coronavirus pandemic’s impact
ECSA said the small and medium enterprises that comprise the greater part of the shipping industry will need the support of national governments and the EU to address long-term repercussions from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Shipping is responsible for 76% of the EU’s external freight trade and 32% of its internal transport of goods; European shipowners own 39.5% of the world shipping fleet.
ECSA said substantial EU and national funding is the key to reaching the Green Deal’s stated goals. The association added that, in the current situation, it will “not be realistic to assume the industry is able to play its part, despite its full commitment to the cause, without first ensuring companies can and must make a full recovery”.
ECSA president Mr Claes Berglund said the European Green Deal cannot be allowed to fail, “due to the inability of our industry and our workers to contribute fully because of the current difficulties we are all experiencing from the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic."
"A co-ordinated approach by all member states and a maritime-specific rescue and recovery plan urgently need to be put in place for that to happen," he said.
As an outcome of the pandemic, shipping companies face a multitude of obstacles to staying afloat. Chief among these are liquidity issues and shrinking sources of financing. The industry has also faced interruptions in production at shipyards which led to OEMs and yards calling for EU support last week.