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Hong Kong Shipowners Association opposes EU carbon regulation as 'premature'

HONG KONG Shipowners Association (HKSOA) has voiced its opposition to the EU's approval of regulations to monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions of shipping as "premature".

Regulations affecting shipping, said the HKSOA, must be global and developed through the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as the industry would find it impossible to comply with differing regional regulations.

The HKSOA also believes that the premature actions of the EU will not assist the deliberations of the IMO in this. In fact, the EU's actions could well result in some member states becoming strongly opposed to any such regulation.

"There are other diplomatic ways to seek support for international action that do not involve apparent threats of unilateral regional action," the statement added.

Furthermore, the association points out that the descriptive text that precedes the proposed regulation states that international maritime shipping remains the only means of transportation not included in the EU's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"While this might be correct for the Union, which is not a member of the IMO, this is not correct for the member states.

"The IMO has already adopted the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which would appear to be at least equivalent to the new vehicle emission standards of the EU, and owners and operators must also maintain the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP)," the HKSOA said.

The association also stressed that it "very much" supports IMO work towards the monitoring and reporting of emissions. But in its opinion, this is not the time to develop a definition for "transport work".

This is a difficult metric to design, because it must apply fairly and consistently across the maritime industry without affecting the efficiency of maritime transport.

"A simple definition of 'multiplying the distance travelled with the amount of cargo carried' will clearly benefit unprofitable and uneconomic diversions to reduce ballast legs, so reducing the efficiency of maritime transport.

"Time is required to properly assess and develop a fair and consistent metric, one that will have the result of increasing efficiency, not decreasing the efficiency of maritime transport," said the statement.

The association urged the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to reconsider the proposed regulation, which it said "would appear to have been developed prematurely without the proper consideration of all the factors and unintended consequences that may result."

Source: Shipping Gazette

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