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Two Chinese ship recycling yards, the world's largest facilities, have applied for the EU's future list of approved ship recycling facilities.

Last week, Transfennica announced it would be closing a ro-ro service running between Bilbao, Portsmouth and Zeebrugge. The line has become the latest casualty for North Sea operators in the run up to the 2015 entry into force of the European Commission’s (EC) 0.1% sulphur cap inthe North Europe and Baltic emission control areas (ECAs).

The European Community Shipowners' Association (ESCA) has today released a position paper reiterating its call for clarity on scrubber legislation in the North Sea Emissions Control Area (ECA), ahead of the entry into force of the 0.1% sulphur cap in January.

Incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made Athens his first call after being elected to head up the European Commission and though he made no promises, by the time he flew out of Athens, Greece believed it had an ally in Brussels. A key issue was illegal immigration, which concerns both the Greek government and the country’s shipowners.

Few would argue with the virtues of moving more freight off congested and polluted road networks and on to environmentally friendly shortsea shipping routes

“There is no clear idea” as to how the European Commission’s Sulphur Directive would be enforced, says Patrick Verhoeven, secretary general of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA).

European owned or controlled tonnage today represents about 40% of the world fleet - including 60% of containerships and 37% of offshore vessels in gt terms – and is a key contributor to the region’s economy, according to a new report commissioned by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), which represents the shipowner bodies of the EU and Norway.

The ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam have declared their opposition to the proposed postponement of tighter NOx emission regulation in the North Sea and English Channel.

Private maritime security companies should ideally be held to one internationally recognised standard, according to the European Commission.

The EU and US have suspended certain sanction measures against Iran. The sanctions will initially be lifted for six months, with the possibility of expanding the scope and length of suspensions depending on developments within Iran’s nuclear programme.

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