Monday, June 3, 2019

European Shipping Head to Be Criticises Turkish Ban on Cypriot Vessels

ECSA Boss Says Cut Unilateralism and Promote a Greener Environment
Shipping News Feature
CYPRUS – The recent 30th anniversary AGM of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber heard a speech from European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA) President-elect Claes Berglund in which he praised the Chamber for its contribution toward strategic concerns of the European shipping sector but heavily criticised the Turkish authorities for its ban on Cypriot vessels. Mr Berglund also is a director at RoRo ferry, tanker and ship management group Stena and he said:

”I feel the need to state here today that ECSA is a strong promoter of a rules based multilateral trade system, governed by institutions such as the WTO. Unilateral actions, such as the Turkish Ban on Cyprus ships which many of them belong to European beneficial ownership, hamper the free flow of goods and services or target specific nations to prevent them performing transport services, are condemned as strongly as possible by ECSA.

”Political solutions are strongly supported. In this respect, in close cooperation with the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, ECSA has lobbied various European Institutions, namely, the European Council, European Commission and European Parliament, aiming at lifting this unilateral restrictive action, which harms European Shipping and blocks any possible Accession Process for Turkey into the EU.”

Mr Berglund pointed out that approximately 40% of world gross tonnage is under European control which employs almost 700,000 people with a total impact on EU GDP of €150 billion. He informed the gathering that most European shipping companies are family owned and go from one generation to the next, a rarity in the modern business world.

Berglund emphasised the ECSAs current focus was to support the EU's free trade agenda and strongly oppose maritime protectionism. He said further that the current application of State Aid Guidelines needed to be maintained whilst avoiding regional EU legislation for shipping as much as possible through close cooperation with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The industry also particularly needed to lessen the impact which it has on the environment.

You can read Mr Berglund’s speech in full here.

Photo: Claes Berglund.