Cut Administrative Load on Seafarers, Operators: ECSA ETF

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European shipowners (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) have demanded easing the administrative burden that seafarers and ship operators are now facing.

The Reporting Formalities Directive, that aimed to simplify and rationalise reporting formalities for ships in European ports as of June 2016, has unfortunately not helped in easing the situation, ECSA noted.

Rather than having a single European window, diverging national solutions were developed and even at Member States’ level there is very often no single solution in place. It has led to an increase of the administrative workload and the risk of seafarer fatigue, to the detriment of job satisfaction and smoothness of operations, the association noted.

However, ECSA expressed their satisfaction that the European Commission has addressed the issue with the launch of the Impact Assessment on a European Maritime Single Window (EMSW) environment, looking forward to an ambitious proposal in spring 2018.

ECSA Secretary General, Martin Dorsman said, “We have the unique chance now to not only rectify things but to improve the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport. Maritime transport lies at the backbone of EU’s free movement of goods and services. For it to continue to function properly and competitively compared to other modes of transport the paperwork to fill in has to be reduced”.

“A harmonised system will allow the crew to focus on its core tasks, which is about secure and safe navigation”, said Philippe Alfonso, Political Secretary at ETF.

“We urge all parties to have an open mind. Surely there are reporting requirements that can be dropped, information that can be re-used better and responsibilities of the various actors that can be clarified better. If this assessment is thoroughly done, this will result in a huge reduction of the administrative burden on crew and companies,” Alfonso added.

Sea News, November 10