- Published on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 14:06
On 5th June 2012, Board meeting of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) took place at the Freeport of Riga Authority. 20 out of 27 ESPO member states were represented at the event.
2012 has been particularly important for the European Union as studies of potential changes to European sea port policy are being prepared this year. Firstly, it should be noted that ESPO publishes guidelines on various port policy issues on a regular basis, and member states were acquainted with green policy guidelines for ports. Some of the topics discussed included best practices, experience of various ports in the area of environmental and nature protection. Materials on green policy are expected to be fully developed and published for use very soon.
Another important milestone will come in 2015, when the regulations of the International Maritime Organisation and the European Union on reduced sulphur content in fuels used in the Baltic and Nordic Seas takes effect. The European Commission is working on a Directive aimed at reducing fuel sulphur content, therefore a comprehensive analysis of what impact this will have on the operation of Baltic ports should be conducted now. Once the regulation is enforced, representatives of Baltic ports may face issues with cargo handling throughput and increased handling costs. One should also consider whether port treatment facilities will be ready to accept concentrated waste produced by air treatment equipment, to accept these airborne emissions, which may contain highly contaminated chemicals. The ESPO Board meeting decided to draw the attention of the EU politicians to these issues in order to analyse all possible consequences.