As the United Kingdom stopped being a member of the European Union (EU) on January 31, 2020, European shipowners have called on both UK and EU regulators to continue their close alignment when it comes to shipping issues.
The European Community Shipowners Associations (ECSA) in a statement on Monday emphasized the importance of including maritime transport in the upcoming trade negotiations between the EU and UK.
It said the only and most economically sensible future is for the EU and the UK to remain an integrated and seamless shipping centre.
ECSA’s Secretary General, Martin Dorsman, said, “Brexit discussions have brought to the forefront how interrelated EU-UK supply and logistics chains are. Maintaining the fluidity of EU-UK trade must, therefore, be a priority, the trade association believes.
“Shipping companies are part and parcel of this smooth-running business reality. In addition, mutual market access to provide maritime services, in areas such as the offshore supply sector and regular domestic trades, is imperative in sustaining those close relations going forward.
“European shipowners strongly believe the current interconnection of companies and services across both sides of the Channel should be preserved to ensure the well-functioning of both the EU/EEA and UK economies.
“It is essential that we secure the fluidity of trade, continued market access and easy movement of staff and passengers while maintaining the current level playing field between the EU and the UK.”
ECSA represents the national shipowners’ associations of the EU and Norway. European shipowners control 40% of the global commercial fleet and provide 2.1 million Europeans with careers both onboard and ashore.