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March 6, 2016

European Parliament to decide on fate of EU’s new port regulations

The European Parliament is set to take a decision on the implementation of the European Union's (EU's) new port regulations after a decider vote is cast on it.

By Srijanee Chakraborthy

The European Parliament is set to take a decision on the implementation of the European Union’s (EU’s) new port regulations after a decider vote is cast on it.

The EU port regulations emphasise common rules and a common authority to monitor and assume authority of the UK’s port industry with a view to consolidate the sector into one unit.

The UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) and the British Ports Association (BPA) are rallying their disagreement against the EU’s new Port Services Regulation which was revealed following a survey undertaken by the independent pollster ComRes.

"Privately-financed ports are engines of growth and they will be undermined by this new EU Ports Regulation if adopted."

The survey which had covered Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland had revealed that 66% of the nation prefers the commercial ports to be overlooked by the respective national governments.

The UK port industry is urging the European Member of Parliament to vote against the regulations.

ABP chief executive and UK Major Ports Group chairman James Cooper said: "Privately-financed ports are engines of growth and they will be undermined by this new EU Ports Regulation if adopted.

"While the regulation claims to promote competition, the effect will be to prevent privately-financed ports operating as fully commercial businesses.

"The ambiguity in the current text is unhelpful, as it creates uncertainty and puts essential future investment, growth and jobs at risk. It is simply not clear how this regulation will add value to European ports."

The port industry has revealed a series of concerns which include a loss of freedom to apply port charges; private ports might have to put their services out to tender; unfair practice of the regulations leading to unfair competition, as well as commercial confidentiality being put under the public glare.

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