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European Parliament votes ‘no’ to shipping levy

Europe – Following passionate industry objections, the European Parliament has thrown out the proposal to impose a ship recycling levy on commercial vessels calling at ports in Europe, Bloomberg has reported.The EU assembly in Strasbourg rejected the much-discussed recommendation to insert the tax into draft EU legislation meant to limit the risks of health and environmental damage posed by the dismantling of vessels. The proposal, suggested by the EU environment committee earlier this year, was knocked back by 299 votes to 292. Instead, the European Parliament has called for its regulators to propose an ‘incentive-based system’ to encourage safe ship recycling by the end of 2015.

EU governments have yet to give their opinion on the Commission proposal. Any differences between governments and the EU Parliament would have to be smoothed over in negotiations before a final agreement.

As reported previously, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping and the Asian Shipowners’€™ Forum are among those organisations to have voiced their opposition to the proposed tax. The ECSA described it as
a ‘grave offence to the EU’€™s trading partners, not just major ship recycling nations such as China and India, but to major shipping nations such as Japan and Singapore’.

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