The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) adopted a position paper endorsing a number of actions by the European Union that are expected to improve polar shipping conditions.
European shipowners have welcomed the adoption of the integrated European Union policy for the Arctic region. The policy aims to establish a coherent and comprehensive approach to matters where the Arctic region has an impact on the EU and vice versa.
“We believe that the three priority areas identified cover all topical Arctic matters. Climate change and environment, sustainable development and international cooperation all deserve equal attention”, Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, said.
ECSA said it appreciates that the EU supports the efforts to implement the International Code for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) as adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“We do expect polar shipping to grow in volume in the coming years and are indeed pleased that precautions have been taken to ensure safety of life at sea. The sustainability of this highly sensitive environment cannot be compromised,” Verhoeven added.
“While the IMO remains the prime regulator for the shipping industry, we appreciate that the EU supports the efforts to implement the Polar Code. We also endorse the actions included in the policy that will concretely improve polar shipping conditions and help overcome the challenges we are confronted with in the area,” Verhoeven further said.
Furthermore, ECSA said it appreciates the focus of the EU to the Arctic matters by developing more coherent framework for EU action and funding programs in the Arctic.