Without the banner “Hello Sunshine” outside our office window, we would have trouble recognising the spring in Brussels… We’re pleased to announce top speakers are now lined up for the “Skippers Working Without Borders” conference. Some concerns for the delays transposing the new directive and accrediting notified bodies, while the Blue Guide has been updated. Other news include Visit Europe, the launch of the Platform for Electro-mobility, updates on the non-road mobile machinery directive, European Maritime Day and IMO decision on ship emissions and fuel consumption. Last but not least, the Blue Growth calls offer great funding opportunities for the sector.
Top EU officials & industry representatives at "Skippers Working Without Borders" conference
European Boating Industry and the TCC-SCV Project Team are pleased to announce the speakers and the programme of the “Skippers Working Without Borders” conference that will take place in Brussels on 16 June 2016.
Theme and speakers
Imagine two identical charter boats up to 24m moored in an Italian harbour: same length, same brand, the only visible difference being their flag, say one being under Spanish flag and the other under German one. Now, add to the equation a local, Italian professional skipper and find out he/she isn’t able to work on any of those boats as his Italian qualifications are not accepted.
Absurd? Well, this is the harsh reality for professional skippers on small commercial vessels!
The lack of recognition of skippers’ professional qualifications is affecting a large range of actors, from skippers themselves to charter companies, crew agencies, training institutes and national maritime authorities. National industry associations are also concerned by the current situation and three of them – namely APL (Czech Republic), BVWW (Germany) and FIN (France) who joined as TCC-SCV project partners.
European Boating Industry and the 9 other TCC-SCV project partners are pleased to announce the first-ever conference on the theme “Skippers Working Without Borders”. Taking place in Brussels on 16 June 2016, it provides a unique opportunity for the boating industry, EU and national authorities to learn more about this issue and exchange ideas about possible solutions.
• Scott Farquharson, General Manager of Sunsail (TUI Marine), one of the biggest charter companies worldwide
• István Ujhelyi, European Parliament’s Vice-Chair of the Transport & Tourism Committee and Parliament’s Tourism Intergroup
• Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Member of European Parliament’s Transport & Tourism Committee and Parliament’s Tourism Intergroup
• David Kerr, Maritime Attaché at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU
• Hubert Gambs, European Commission’s Director for Maritime Affairs & Fisheries
• Konstantinos Tomaras, Deputy Head of European Commission’s Unit for professional qualifications and skills
• Lara Hidalgo, Legal Adviser at the Spanish boating industry association ANEN
• Silja Teege and Mike John, Directors of Sea Teach and TCC-SCV project leaders
European Boating Industry’s Secretary General Mirna Cieniewicz explains that “the conference is the crowning event after years of research and analysis work carried out by teams of national experts under the TRECVET and TCC-SCV projects. Seven different national qualifications were studied in order to develop the TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels that will be presented on 16 June.”
She adds that “the conference is not intended to be an expert workshop but rather the first step of a highly needed European and national dialogue regarding professional skippers on small commercial vessels and how to unlock the potential of chartering in Europe.”
The conference language is English with no interpretation. Participation is free of charge and prior registration is needed. Participants will have the possibility to interact and exchange with speakers during the whole event, making it a lively debate.
The TCC-SCV project is a follow-up project to the TRECVET one which received the “Success Stiry” award by the European Commission. This time, 10 partners from 9 EU countries joined forces in the TCC-SCV project to establish the methodology and standard analysis procedure for the analysis of national curricula from seven countries: UK, Germany, Spain, France, Czech Republic, Croatia and Slovenia. The project partners have developed a software called the Comparison Tool, which gives stakeholders a chance to compare seven sets of qualifications. This data has been used in the new TRECVET Core Curriculum for Skippers of Small Commercial Vessels, creating de facto the first-ever European curriculum for professional skippers. This TRECVET Core Curriculum, plus national bolt-on modules are the first of their kind and will aim to facilitate recognition of qualifications and therefore work mobility of skippers across EU-flagged vessels, as well as serve as a basis for the Romanian and Czech authorities, where work on the qualifications is currently in progress.
Blue Guide to interpretation of New Approach directives updated
At the beginning of April the European Commission has published an updated version of the so-called Blue Guide. The Blue Guide explains how to comply with the EU rules for the production, importation and sales of products on the single market.
The Blue Guide is important to understand so-called New Approach Directives, like the Watercraft Directive 2013/53/EU.
The modifications in the latest version of the Blue Guide include:
- 2.2. Chapter 2 – When does Union Harmonisation Legislation on products apply?
- 2.3. Chapter 3 – The actors in the product supply chain and their obligations
European Boating Industry and ICOMIA have released the EU RCD Guide in 9 languages to provide boating companies guidance on how to apply the new EU rules for boats, engines, personal watercraft and some components.
Key countries still lagging behind with Watercraft Directive transposition
It is more than 3 months since the new EU rules on watercraft have started applying and close to half of the 28 EU Member States have still not transposed the Directive into their national law.
Among the bad pupils, it is worrying to find countries with a strong boatbuilding and equipment manufacturing activity as the delayed transposition combined to the delayed notification of conformity assessment bodies is not helping companies getting their current products assessed and certified under the new Directive 2013/53/EU.
Among them, France and Germany are facing internal legal issues that have been holding back the transposition, while UK explained the delays were due to normal administrative backlog. There is some light at the end of the tunnel for Poland, where the legislative works are ongoing and the government assures they should be finalised in the next 6 weeks.
European Boating Industry is also concerned by the lack of progress by national administrations in the notification of conformity assessment bodies under the new Directive 2013/53/EU. At time of writing, only 10 notified bodies are able to assess and certify products under the new Directive and some “big names” used in the boating industry such as RINA, Lloyd’s Register, ICNN or IMCI are still not appearing despite having all filed their applications for the new accreditation.
On the positive side, 15 countries (namely Italy, Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Bulgaria, Denmark) have done their homework and transposed the Directive.
Following the adoption of the Directive on watercraft 2013/53/EU replacing the Recreational Craft Directive 94/25/EC as amended by Directive 2003/44/EC, Member States were given 24 months to amend their national legislation and transpose all the requirements of the Directive before 18 January 2016.
Between 18 January 2016 and 17 January 2017, companies will have a one-year transition period during which they can place for the first time on the EU market boats, engines, personal watercraft and components that are compliant with and CE-marked according to either the “old” or “new” directive.
From 18 January 2017 onwards, only products compliant with the new Directive will be allowed to be placed on the EU single market.
Take a look at our factsheet which includes more practical information about timelines, transition periods, attribution of MICs, DoC templates and the changes brought by the new Directive.
Sail the Seas - Explore Europe's outstanding diversity by boat
Spring brings the start of boating season in Europe and we are proud to announce that nautical tourism is now part of Visit Europe, a platform promoting Europe as destination.
On www.visiteurope.com readers will learn more about various boating and watersport activities they can experience on the old continent, whether they choose the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea or the Atlantic Coast.
European Boating Industry will be regularly providing content to the nautical pages of Visit Europe, both for their online and printed communication. We invite you to submit your texts and pictures for future inclusion.
Much ado about quiet electric: introducing the Platform for Electro-mobility
With more and more electric cars appearing in European cities, the boating industry is also witness to the continuous development of marine electric propulsion. Although a niche sector, such trends should not be underestimated and European Boating Industry was pleased to be associated to the launch event of the Platform for Electro-Mobility on 21 April in Brussels.
This new initiative unites businesses and stakeholders from the road, rail and electricity supply sectors, as well as civil society and cities to promote the benefits of sustainable electrification of all transport modes in Europe.
At the inaugurating event in Brussels, the Platform welcomed four new members: Tesla Motors (electric car maker), SolarPowerEurope (European solar energy association), WindEurope (European Wind Energy association) and Eurocities (city network), who will all contribute to accelerate sustainable electrification of Europe’s transport and energy sectors.
The presence of high-level representatives from the European Commission and the Dutch Presidency of the EU sent a clear signal about the need to speed up electrification in Europe and put the Old continent in the leading position for clean transportation.
The debate also showed that achieving the goal to make Europe a resilient, energy-independent and low-carbon economy requires a strategy in electrifying the transport sector. Large companies such as car manufacturer Renault-Nissan or Alstom in trains underlined the synergies to be developed between road and rail transport modes. The speakers shared the view that the electro-mobility offers an unequalled solution to make Europe’s transport more efficient, low carbon, clean, quiet and less dependent on imported fossil energy.
With the European Commission’s Communication on the decarbonisation of transport planned this summer, the Platform’s members outlined their priorities for setting up interoperable infrastructure and better cross-modal information to encourage electric vehicle-sharing solutions and foster intermodality, i.e. the combined use of different modes of (electric) transport in urban areas or encouraging Member States to incorporate smart charging measures into their National Plans.
This week the European Parliament’s Environment Committee approved a deal reached earlier by the Dutch Presidency of the Council, the European Commission and Parliament Italian Rapporteur Elisabetta Gardini on updating EU rules on emission limits for internal combustion engines in non-road mobile machinery (including inland waterway vessels).
The plans include a new in-service engine performance monitoring system, which should close the current gap between laboratory emission test figures and those measured in the real world. The European Commission will have to assess the possibility of laying down harmonised measures for retrofitting emission control devices to engines.
Rapporteur assured that even though the limits proposed by the Commission have been finally tightened for many power ranges, the approach is reasonable enough so that the industry can comply with it in short time. There is also a possibility to replace broken old engines of non-road mobile machines with engines of the same type, whenever it is not feasible to use a new and better performing type.
In September 2014, the European Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation that would update and replace rules laid down in Directive 97/68/EC on emissions from non-road mobile machinery engines (NRMM), which according to the Commission no longer reflected the current state of technology. Since the introduction of the Directive particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from NRMM have continued to grow. The Directive, which currently covers combustion engines used in construction, agriculture, rail and inland waterway transport, aims to reduce air pollutant emissions and create a single market for these engines in Europe.
The provisional agreement in the Environment Committee was approved by 56 votes in favour and none against, with 3 abstentions. It will be put to a vote by the full house of the European Parliament at the July plenary session in Strasbourg.
After Athens (Greece) last spring with the participation of European Boating Industry, the 2016 edition will take place in Turku (Finland) on 18-19 May. This year event will focus on smart and sustainable solutions for blue growth, ocean governance, clean energy and skills development. Strategic cluster partnerships and common roadmaps to facilitate joint actions will be discussed with special focus on specific regional challenges and opportunities.
IMO agrees mandatory system for reporting fuel consumption
Only few months after the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in December 2015 and in accordance with climate change mitigation approach, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved mandatory requirements for ships to record and report their fuel consumption during its 69th session last week in London.
This decision at international level comes after the legislation on the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of maritime greenhouse gas emissions entered into force at EU level in July 2015 and will become operational in 2018. We reported about this regulation in earlier issues but if you need information, please contact the Secretariat.
Under the IMO mandatory system, ships of 5,000 GT and above would be required to collect consumption data for each type of fuel they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work.
C. Open consultations & calls for EU funding
Open calls for proposals: Blue Growth calls
On 5 April, the European Commission organised an information day to present three calls for proposals launched under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund to foster blue growth across Europe.
With a budget of over 7,5 million euros the 3 thematic calls ('Blue careers', 'Blue labs' and 'Blue technology') will respectively help enhancing career opportunities in the maritime economy, stimulating the creativity of young researchers and set-up cooperation that will help bring research results to the market in promising blue growth technology areas. The calls are open to all sea basins surrounding the EU coasts and target a wide range of stakeholders of the blue economy.
Blue Careers With 3,45 million euros to make the blue economy more visible and attractive to young talent, the call is addressed to consortia od educational institutions, companies, chambers of commerce, professional associations and business-education partnerships oriented. Business and training partners are expected to present concrete actions to fill skills’ gap between education offer and industry needs and increase employability in the blue economy. The budget range per project is about 500,00-700,00 euros.
With about 1,7 million euros this call is addressed to young scientists, researchers, industry and stakeholders to team up with business leaders to develop innovative solutions to tackle maritime challenges.
With the budget of 2,5 million euros, this call is addressed to participants active in the field of research & innovation, regional cooperation, implementation of national and regional research and innovation smart specialisation strategies, blue economy and related sectors. The aim is to get new lightweight materials tested, accepted and certified to be used in manufacturing of new products; like wind turbines and maintain the competitiveness of renewable energy.
EU funding: Horizon 2020 work programmes for 2016-2017
Funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are contained in bi-annual work programmes setting out the large majority of support which is available. The work programmes are prepared by the European Commission through a process which integrates EU policy objectives into the priority setting.