Transport ministers concerned over IMO sulphur regulations

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 16.9.2010 15.33
Press release

The EU's transport ministers convened for an informal meeting in Antwerp on 16 September 2010. The meeting discussed the role of waterborne transport in the transport system. An issue for concern raised in the discussions was how the tightening IMO sulphur regulations will influence the operational environment of Short Sea Shipping.

'Several ministers shared the concern over the impacts of the sulphur regulations on costs. However, the discussions indicated that the EU countries are not ready to change the decision made at the IMO,' Ms Vehviläinen said.

Ms Vehviläinen urged the Commission to take prompt measures to compile and analyse the results of the impact studies already conducted.

'Once we receive the Commission's analysis, we need to discuss the issue among the transport ministers, and draw conclusions. I personally would be prepared to consider postponing the timetable, if the analysis indicated that the situation would entail major difficulties for businesses', Ms Vehviläinen said.

Finland, alongside a number of other countries, brought up the potential that new technology, such as scrubbers and alternative fuels, offer in terms of ensuring a cleaner Short Sea Shipping sector.

Further information: Ms Minna Kivimäki, Director-General, tel. +358 40 754 9871