EU governments have reached a common position on a proposed directive which sets minimum standards for waste disposal facilities used by ships visiting EU ports. The European Parliament will now consider the dossier in a second reading under the codecision procedure, opening the possibility of conflict with ministers over the charging systems for using port facilities unless the two sides reach an agreement. The common position was approved by industry ministers after legal and linguistic checks were made to a text agreed by transport ministers in June (ENDS Daily 18 June). The parliament supports a proposal made by Germany, under pressure from its states bordering the North and Baltic seas, to introduce a mandatory "no special fee" system, under which ships would pay a fixed fee for using waste facilities in ports, regardless of the amount of waste deposited. Germany argues that the provision is necessary to stop illicit dumping of waste at sea. Although the common position states explicitly that the fee systems should provide no incentive for dumping, it allows member states to charge extra for ships making heavy use of facilities.
In the above article we reported EU industry ministers as having given formal approval to the directive. It was in fact consumer affairs ministers meeting on 8 November who approved the measure.
EU Council of Ministers, tel: +32 2 285 6111.
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