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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

On 13 May, the European Commission presented a package of measures to support the tourism industry in the COVID-19 crisis and start the summer season. Many measures that formed the European boating industry’s joint call that EBI has advocated for, have been taken up. The European Commission recognises on-water recreation and nautical tourism as a key part of Europe’s tourism industry, recovery period and ready to restart following health and safety protocols.

The European Commission presented a package of guidelines and recommendations to gradually open borders and allow tourism businesses to restart while respecting health and safety measures. It encourages consumers to take advantage of the summer tourism season and help the EU tourism sector recover. It includes an overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond, a gradual lifting of border restrictions, re-establishment of transport links, criteria for restoring tourism activities and health protocols, as well as a recommendation on vouchers as alternatives to reimbursement. These guidelines and recommendations are provided to EU countries and companies for implementation.

Throughout these measures, the Commission recognises the importance of on-water recreation, and the maritime and inland waterway tourism industry. At several points, it highlights that leisure boating should not fall under a general prohibition but be allowed following a risk-based approach and implementing specific procedures, such as regular cleaning and disinfection. EU countries should lift restrictions for leisure boating based on specific health and safety protocols. The Commission specifically mentions marinas and resuming activity in these under strict health and safety conditions. The Commission recognises that domestic and intra-EU tourism will be increasingly popular and should be promoted. It sees a strong role for maritime and inland waterway tourism in this.

The announcement from the European Commission comes after many weeks of advocacy activities and dozens of virtual meetings by EBI with the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and other members of the EU institutions. Advocacy actions were based on the joint policy paper that 19 European boating industry associations and EBI signed in early April (Link). This unity has been key to advocacy. Several boating industry associations have also prepared guidelines to facilitate the application of social distancing rules and all applicable health and safety requirements.

European Boating Industry Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented “We are a fundamentally European industry. Boating relies on open borders between countries for navigation, holiday travel and supply chains. We support the measures announced by the European Commission to gradually reopen borders and swiftly restart nautical tourism and support recovery in our sector. We have been advocating for many of these measures since the start of the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to do so. Taking the European Commission’s risk-based approach, the conditions are in place for boating, boat charter, marinas and its infrastructure to swiftly reopen under strict health and safety rules across Europe."

When it comes to the introduction of vouchers as alternatives for reimbursement, we urge EU countries to include individual tourism activities in their scope. Nautical tourism activities, such as boat charter, must be a part of this to ensure a level playing field in the tourism industry. National and eventually a European guarantee fund could help protect consumers and support companies’ liquidity at a critical time."

EBI will continue its advocacy to ensure that the boating industry continues to be recognised and address the key issues in the COVID-19 crisis. EBI is also providing resources on the measures taken at EU-level regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. These can be found here.

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The full information on the Tourism Package can be found on the website of the European Commission.

Thursday, 30 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.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

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.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

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).

Thursday, 30 April 2020

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.

Thursday, 09 April 2020

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 18 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), Croatian Employers Association - Nautical sector (Croatia), Croatian Boating Industry Association (Croatia), 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).

EBI is also providing resources on the measures taken at EU-level regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. These can be found here.

Update (14 April 2020): APL, the Czech Boating Industry Association has joined as 19th co-signatory of the policy paper.

Update (15 April 2020): Skib & Båd, the Danish Boating Industry Association has joined as 20th co-signatory of the policy paper.

Wednesday, 08 April 2020

The boating industry fully supports the measures taken to protect citizens’ health from the COVID-19 outbreak. We are united in our solidarity and support for the relief efforts. The boating sector is donating Personal Protective Equipment and shifting production from marine supplies to masks.

Impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is felt across the industry from current restrictions, as well as demand reduction. Charter companies and marinas are already feeling the effect of cancellations. Manufacturers and dealers are impacted by supply chain obstacles and demand reductions.

The industry is made up of 32,000 companies supporting 280,000 jobs directly. Most companies are SMEs at over 95% of the industry. For them the impact will be critical due to large investments being made at the start of the year in anticipation of the summer season, as well as low liquidity. About 48 million EU citizens regularly participate in water sports, out of which 36 million participate in boating. The value chain and indirect economic impact from this activity is crucial for other industries and the regions in which they are located that are primarily peripheral, coastal and along inland waterways.

1. Short-term responses: Weathering the crisis

Support is urgently needed in the short-term to ensure that companies survive the crisis and can secure jobs. This should focus on immediately impacted sectors, such as tourism. This requires:

  • Broad support programmes: direct transfers, loans, delays of payment deadlines for taxes and social security, wage support for lowered working time, reduced concession fees
  • Cooperation between banks, governments and industry to postpone loan repayments
  • Coordinated EU support for companies whose main activities take place outside their country or even the EU (e.g. German charter companies with their main activity in the Mediterranean)
  • Introduction of a voucher scheme for tourism trips rather than reimbursement with support of government funds and insolvency insurance
  • EU pressure on Member States to ensure open borders for transport of goods to keep supply chains open and ensure possibility of boat deliveries and supplies
  • European guidelines for a risk-based return to production and reopening of tourism activities (e.g. for marinas, charter companies, industrial sites)
  • Permit return of boats into national waters from outside the EU to anticipate summer season

2. Mid- to long-term responses: Navigating the future and re-building consumer confidence

Once the current restrictions have been partially or fully lifted, it is important to support companies and sectors to regain consumer confidence. This requires:

  • Public-private marketing campaign with EU support to promote tourism in 2020/2021 (focusing on charter, marinas, water sports, opportunities of boating)
  • Support from regions, countries and EU funding programmes for marketing activities (destination marketing, trade fair participation for B2B and B2C marketing)
  • Strong communication from the European Commission and national governments to inspire consumer confidence in the safety and attractiveness of maritime tourism

EBI is a member of the Tourism Manifesto Coalition, the voice of the tourism industry, that demands urgent supportive measures to reduce the potentially devastating impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Signatories

 

 Nautibel
CEA
CBIA

APL logo napis

Skib baad pos202
AEMI
EBI
Finnboat
FIN
dbsv neg rgb
BVWW
IMF Logo full
Confindustria Nautica
Hiswa Recron logo zonder payoff FC
HVE logo nagy
Polboat
SMIA
ANEN
SweBoat
SBV Logo

 

 

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The BlueGeneration project, of which EBI is a leading partner, recently launched its flagship job portal. Companies in the recreational boating industry and across the blue economy can now advertise open positions and training opportunities free of charge to thousands of young Europeans.

The portal will be promoted to thousands of young people across Europe through school visits and promotional activities. Posting of job and training opportunities is free of charge for companies. The portal focuses on young people between the ages of 15 and 29 with the aim to attract them and start a career in the blue economy. The job portal includes a number of sectors, including nautical tourism and manufacturing roles.

EBI is a leading partner in the project that started in 2018 and will last until 2022. At its conclusion, it will have engaged with 40,000 young people and coached them to start a career in the blue economy. Other initiatives the project is working are a career guide, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and mentorship opportunities.

To access the BlueGeneration job portal, head to: bluegeneration.careers
Flyer BlueGeneration.careers Job Platform en v2 page 001

 

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

On 10 March 2020, the European Commission presented its strategy in one of its key priority areas: the New Industrial Strategy, SME strategy and several initiatives to improve the functioning of the Single Market. Below is a summary of the key elements of relevance to the recreational boating industry. EBI will be engaging with the EU institutions to ensure inclusion of the boating sector in the implementation of the strategy.

Industrial Strategy

The main objectives of the strategy are to address the environmental transition, which links it to the European Green deal, and digitalisation. It has a high level of ambition to maintain and grow Europe's industrial leadership. A number of initiatives are announced:

  • Launch of European Clean Hydrogen Alliance to accelerate decarbonisation of industry
  • Reinforcing the role of standardisation and certification with the EU wanting to increase its influence in international standardisation bodies
  • Systematic analysis of risks and needs of different industrial ecosystems with development of a tailor-made approach for each sector
  • Reinforced customs controls to ensure that imported products comply with EU legislation
  • Sustainable and smart mobility industries with a focus on ship building and other transport sectors (a separate strategy will be launched)
  • Launch of a new Circular Economy Action Plan that will focus on high-impact products
  • Focus on skills and training with a “Pact for Skills” to be launched
  • Funding will come from all areas of EU funding (such as Horizon Europe and regional funds)
  • Set-up of Industrial Forum where industry will be represented 

SME Strategy

The European Commission recognises that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to address the key challenges for Europe and support the New Industrial Strategy. Its dedicated SME strategy is based on three pillars: 1) Support for transition to sustainability and digitalisation, 2) Reducing regulatory burden and improving market access and 3) Access to financing. A number of initiatives are announced:

  • Addressing regulatory burden through the “one-in, one-out principle” for new legislation and creation of EU SME Envoy to whom burdensome legislation can be flagged
  • Launch of portal to inform SMEs about customs procedures and formalities for exporting to third countries and dedicated SME chapters in future trade agreements
  • Support to improve SME’s access to finance, including a SME window of InvestEU to support with equity financing
  • Addressing skills gap with “Pact for Skills” to be launched including a component for SMEs
  • Funding opportunities under European Innovation Council (EIC) and other EU funding tools

Action Plan for implementation and enforcement of the Single Market

Based on a separate report on the barriers to the Single Market, the Commission published an action plan to address these and better enforce the Single market. The conclusion from the report for the Commission is that compliance with single market rules is lacking with too many barriers for businesses. The Action Plan focuses primarily on national authorities, but has some relevance to industry. A number of initiatives are announced:

  • Provision of guidance for national authorities on EU legislation
    • Guidance on Article 4 of the Market Surveillance Regulation (in relation to establishment of economic operators, including the Recreational Craft Directive
    • Update of the Blue Guide for implementation of harmonised products rules (relevant for Recreational Craft Directive)
  • Establishment of Single Digital Gateway for information and access to single market rules
  • New possibilities for businesses to report on Single Market obstacles

All documents can be found in full here.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The Commission’s proposal for the European Climate Law was published. It aims to legislate for the climate-neutrality goal set out in the European Green Deal. This means achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions for EU countries through cutting emissions, investing in green technologies and protecting the natural environment. The law aims to ensure that all EU policies contribute to this goal and that all sectors of the economy and society are involved. It includes measures to keep track of progress and adjust actions. The Climate Law also includes several actions to achieve the 2050 target:

  • New EU target for 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions
  • All relevant policy instruments that can deliver additional emissions reductions will be reviewed by June 2021, following which the Commission may propose new legislation
  • Adoption of a 2030-2050 EU-wide trajectory for greenhouse gas emission reductions, to measure progress and give predictability to public authorities, businesses and citizens
  • Issuing of recommendations to Member States whose actions are inconsistent with the climate-neutrality objective that they will be obliged to take into account
  • Member States will be required to develop and implement adaptation strategies to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change

The full proposal can be found here.

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