Reporting Formalities Directive needs further harmonisation
The European Parliament's draft report on the revision of the Directive on Reporting Formalities reaches out to shipping companies but does not succeed in addressing the serious administrative burdens on reporting requirements for ships. Danish Shipping believes that further harmonisation of data format and systems is required.
Yesterday, the European Parliament's rapporteur in the Transport Committee, Irish Deirdre Clune, announced her draft report on the revision of the Directive on Reporting Formalities from 2010 which is currently being negotiated in the EU. The report is the European Parliament's first response to the European Commission's original proposal from May earlier this year. The proposal is a key issue for Danish Shipping to improve the administrative burdens for shipping companies and ships calling ports in the EU every day. The burdens have grown because the current directive, contrary to the purpose, did not lead to uniform reporting requirements through the so-called National Single Windows, but to a myriad of different systems. In addition, the individual countries do not have the same information requirements.
It is positive that the report stresses the value of greater harmonisation for shipping companies, which will reduce administrative burdens and improve shipping’s competitiveness towards land-based transport. There is a need for a proper internal market for shipping, which will also move more freight from land to sea, which is a declared goal for the EU itself.
However, the rapporteur proposes to maintain the current national windows and only harmonise these at national level instead of one single European window, as otherwise requested by shipping companies. Regarding data harmonisation, it is promising that the many national data requirements are to be gathered in one harmonised EU list. The draft report is the Parliament’s first step in the further decision making process and several elements will be added and removed in the further course of process.
"We are working hard with the negotiators in both the European Parliament and the member states of the Council and we are relatively direct in our message when saying that the proposal should be improved. There is a lot at stake for our shipping companies, so we need to do it right this time. The current directive does not live up to the purpose," says Casper Andersen, Director of EU Affairs at Danish Shipping in Brussels.
The Council and the Parliament must reach an agreement on the proposal by March next year before the European Parliament election in May.
Read the report.