Commenting on today’s news that the European Commission had formally adopted the new General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER) on state aids, the British Ports Association Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne warned against the distortion of competitive port markets with major public subsidies.
The European Commission has now formally adopted the General Block Exemption Regulations which includes guidelines for ports. This provides rules on what is interpreted as acceptable state aid by DG Competition in Brussels and introduces new exemptions from the obligation to notify the Commission for approval before schemes are implemented.
Mr Ballantyne said:-
“While we fully appreciate the diverse nature of the European ports industry, we are disappointed that the revised GBER does not do more to limit potential market distortion. The GBER now effectively means that subsided dredging activity can be exempted from state aid restrictions. A number of British ports have voiced concerns about subsidies for both capital projects and maintenance dredging at European ports, potentially disadvantaging the UK’s private sector ports industry.”
- The British Ports Association represents the interests of 100 port members, covering over 350 ports, terminal operators and port facilities
- The UK ports industry plays a fundamentally important role in the country’s economy. 96% of the UK’s international trade – imports and exports – is carried through UK ports which also handle 60 million passenger journeys each year
- UK ports directly employ around 120,000 people
- The UK port industry is the second largest in Europe, handling almost 500 million tonnes of freight each year.
Contact the BPA
If you would like any more information on the above briefing or to discuss any of the issues raised please contact:
Stuart Wealands – firstname.lastname@example.org