FEPORT roadmap addresses regulatory hurdles

Europe's private port operator body looks to the future
Industry Database

The Federation of European Private Port Operators and Terminals (FEPORT) has adopted a new roadmap for 2018 to 2020 in light of anticipated disruptive changes within the maritime logistics chain.

‘Roadmap 2018-2020’ was adopted at the association’s General Assembly meeting, which took place in Brussels in late November, in view of attendees’ analysis of the latest developments concerning issues of interest to the cargo handling industry.

FEPORT president Gunther Bonz said that although the organisation was satisfied by its implementation of its 2015-2017 roadmap and the outcomes of the legislative procedures regarding  the EU’s Port Services Regulation (PSR) and General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), it felt that the recognition of the role of private investors in EU ports was not at the appropriate level.

Though FEPORT has supported the idea of a clarification of the rules applicable to the port sector, terminal operators are now confronted with national and local interpretations or administrative decisions which might discourage private investment in European ports, Mr Bonz explained.

FEPORT hoped that talks within the European Port Forum would offer opportunities to increase awareness regarding the role of private investors in the modernisation of European ports, he commented.

“When looking to the future, we are fully aware that disruptive changes will occur within the logistics chain,” the president said.

“We shall be mobilised to call on regulators and policy makers to assess whether existing frameworks are not obsolete and thus represent potential threats to processes of innovation.”

Mr Bonz commented that while terminal operators were investing in the port and logistics-related operations of the future, they needed a truly-level playing field, as well as fair competition with other players in the maritime logistics chain to be successful in their tasks.

“We call upon EU regulators to guarantee a balanced maritime policy that prevents distortion of competition, be it through regulatory measures or imbalances in the allocation of EU funds to innovation,” he said.

The General Assembly meeting, which was held a day before FEPORT’s Third Annual Stakeholders’ Conference, also saw the election of the members of the organisation’s Board of Directors, with the new Board including representatives from DP World, APM Terminals and PSA International.

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