The European Commission has bolstered the intra-Europe marketplace for maritime services by clarifying cabotage rules, giving better legal clarity to shippers and shipowners.
This new guidance gives greater clarity regarding who can provide cabotage services; how public contracts should be awarded and the duration of those awards; and “the manning rules on vessels providing maritime cabotage,” according to a press release.
The fixes align the commission’s guidance with new case law, updating its previous communications regarding cabotage.
"The internal market for maritime transport services is important to the performance of the European economy and for the quality of life and prosperity of maritime regions,” Siim Kallas, the commission’s vice president, who oversees transport, said in a statement. “Member states' authorities need clear rules on how to ensure adequate links to islands and peripheral regions that are particularly dependent on maritime transport. We have listened very carefully to where clarification was needed. These updated interpretative guidelines provide this clarity and will enhance legal certainty for all maritime cabotage actors in the EU."