Newsletter April 2020

Newsletter April 2020

Deadline: 31 May 2020

The European Commission aims to collect information on how to make public innovation support for SMEs more effective and efficient. It collects information on the main factors hampering innovation in SMEs, particularly in view of recent technological and market developments, forms of innovation support received, level of satisfaction with the existing support for innovation as well as gaps in innovation support and suggestions for improvement.

Companies in the boating industry are invited to provide input to the survey directly and share this with EBI to potentially provide a further response at European level.

The survey can be found here.

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The 2020 calls for proposal were now issued for the environment and climate action sub-programmes. Specific measures were taken to take into account the COVID-19 outbreak, including a one-month extension of deadlines. For the full information and application information, please click here.

In a sign of unity, Europe’s boating industry associations jointly call on the EU institutions and national governments to support the sector and protect jobs against the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The call for action, co-signed by 20 associations, calls for swift measures to help companies survive the immediate crisis and actions to support recovery and stimulate demand.

The signatories call for concrete and swift measures to support the 32,000 companies and 280,000 jobs in the industry. It underlines that most companies in the sector are SMEs. Their economic contribution is particularly felt in coastal and peripheral regions, as well as along inland waters.

The paper calls for support to the industry through assistance programmes, introduction of a voucher scheme for tourism activities, open borders for goods and deliveries, as well as a risk-based approach to restarting of marinas, production and tourism activities in anticipation of the summer season. Following the lifting of restrictions, rebuilding consumer confidence and supporting recovery will be crucial. The paper likewise suggests concrete actions for this.

EBI will spearhead the advocacy efforts and take the policy paper into discussions with the EU institutions. EBI is also a member of the Tourism Manifesto Coalition, the voice of the tourism industry at European level. It also demands urgent supportive measures to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the entire tourism industry.

Companies in the industry have shown solidarity by donating Personal Protective Equipment to frontline medical staff and changed production to urgently required material. All boating industry associations in Europe are engaged in supporting their members to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, EBI and its sister association, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), are closely working together and providing synergies for their activities. ICOMIA is leading the global response and developing best practices for the restart of activities.

The full paper can be found here. It was signed by: Nautibel (Belgium), APL (Czech Republic), Croatian Employers Association - Nautical sector (Croatia), Croatian Boating Industry Association (Croatia), Skib & Båd (Denmark), Association of Estonian Marine Industries (Estonia), European Boating Industry, Finnboat (Finland), Fédération des Industries Nautiques (France), Deutscher Boots- und Schiffbauer-Verband e.V. (Germany), Bundesverband Wassersportwirtschaft e.V. (Germany), Irish Marine Federation (Ireland), Confindustria Nautica (Italy), HISWA-RECRON (The Netherlands), Hungarian Marine Industry Federation (Hungary), POLBOAT (Poland), Slovenian Marine Industry Association (Slovenia), Asociación Nacional de Empresas Náuticas (Spain), SweBoat (Sweden), Schweizerischer Bootbauer-Verband (Switzerland).

On 19 April, new rules on the mutual recognition of goods came into force. They aim to make selling products faster, simpler and easier. The new rules come from Regulation 2019/515 that was recently updated. They concern products which are not fully or partially subject to common EU rules, but rather may come under national rules.

The new rules aim to improve the EU’s mutual recognition principle which allows products to move freely within the Single Market if they are lawfully marketed in one EU country. Companies can fill in a voluntary ‘mutual recognition declaration’ which will clearly show competent national authorities that their products are lawfully marketed in another EU country. When companies are denied or restricted market access for their products, they can contest such decisions using the European Commission’s problem-solving network SOLVIT. Product contact points' set up in each Member State will provide information on national technical rules easily accessible online. More information and access to the SOLVIT network can be found here and the national contact points here.

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