Representatives of the legislative institutions of the EU successfully reached an agreement recently on the new Port Services Regulation. This legislation will establish a framework for the provision of port services and financial transparency of European ports.

EMPA, The European Maritime Pilots' Association, welcomes the well balanced and coherent conclusion of this extensive legislative process. The body believes that the new Regulation will turn out to be an important legal structure for further sustainable growth and development of the important European Ports- and Shipping industries.

An important and clear signal that was given by the European Parliament at its plenary decision on 8th March this year, is that Maritime Pilotage, due to its public service obligations, should not be subject to market access philosophies. The outcome of the trilogue respects this important signal, which is well illustrated by the following justification: “Pilotage provides an essential and unique service to the shipping industry, which if open to competition would jeopardise maritime safety and security, the protection of the environment and the efficiency of ports.”

EMPA has said it fully concurs with the Port Services Regulation's common rules on training, on financial transparency, and on port service and infrastructure charges.

By Jake Frith