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Council Resolution on short sea shipping

On 11 March 1996, the Council of the European Union adopted a Resolution on short sea shipping, emphasizing the importance of developing this mode of transport within the European Community.

The Council notes the considerable advantages of short sea shipping, for the European...
On 11 March 1996, the Council of the European Union adopted a Resolution on short sea shipping, emphasizing the importance of developing this mode of transport within the European Community.

The Council notes the considerable advantages of short sea shipping, for the European Union, in comparison with land transport, in particular:

- The general availability of space capacity in short sea shipping;
- Lower energy consumption and lower levels of emission of pollutants into the atmosphere;
- Potential contribution to the development of peripheral regions of the European Union;
- Possibility to extend short sea shipping further with relatively low infrastructure costs.

The Council Resolution states that the main objectives of Community policy on short sea shipping are to achieve a balanced growth of this mode of transport, accompanied by positive and active integration of short sea shipping, including feeder services, into the intermodal transport chain. It is intended to pursue these objectives through the following actions:

- Developing further the environmental benefits of short sea shipping;
- Promoting, in the interest of the users, free and fair competition between modes of transport in which all modes bear their full costs, including external costs;
- Fostering of free and fair competition between Community ports and between shipping lines;
- Improving port efficiency in order to reduce the costs of, and time spent in, port operations;
- Making use of combined transport for the development of short sea shipping;
- Promoting the confidence of shippers and transport undertakings in the possibilities of short sea shipping;
- Streamlining and, where appropriate, coordinating, harmonizing and simplifying customs procedures and other related administrative formalities which arise in harbours;
- Encouraging initiatives by shipping undertakings involved in short sea shipping;
- Drawing up and implementing pilot projects concerning short sea shipping and disseminating the results;
- Supporting training, research and development in the area of short sea shipping and port activities;
- Supporting and expanding the use of information technology for the best development of this mode of transport.

The Council calls on the Commission to propose specific measures in these areas. It also calls on Member States to support the general objectives of the Resolution and to cooperate with the Commission in setting up a Community framework to promote short sea shipping.

The Council Resolution follows a Commission communication on short sea shipping adopted in July 1995 (COM(92)494 final). In this context, the Commission is also shortly expected to submit a Green Paper on the internalization of external costs in transport. In addition, the development of possible guidelines on State aid to shipping and to ports will be pursued in consultation with Member States and the maritime industries.
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Subjects

Transport
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