The Shipping Ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Malta have called on the European Union to cut red tape holding back growth in the sector, which they say provides 2.1m jobs and $168bn to Europe’s economy.

After some months of rumblings, the European Union and Italian authorities have opened an investigation into suspected wide-scale tax fraud by Chinese criminal gangs importing goods via Piraeus, a trade gateway between Asia and Europe.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) looks set to agree Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission cuts of at least 50% by 2050 as a week of difficult negotiations at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) draw to a close.

The European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA) has warned over planned US steel and aluminium tariffs saying a full scale trade war will benefit nobody.

The regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Latin America region, MTCC-Latin America has been inaugurated in Panama by Panama’s Minister of Maritime Affairs Jorge Barakat and the IMO deputy director of Environment Dr Jose Matheickhal.

Union of Greek Shipowners leader, Theodore Veniamis is confident, “2018 looks like being a year in which all shipping sectors will be able to return to growth and profitability”.

The British Ports Association (BPA) warns that the government is losing sight of opportunities to develop port areas once the country is free from EU regulations.

The recent move by the European Union (EU) to not include shipping the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is good for the industry according to Aegean Shipmanagement.

The European Parliament and member states of the European Union have agreed a revision of the EU’s ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) from which shipping is excluded – for the time being at least.

The oversupply of ships, the costs of compliance with the Ballast Water Management Convention, the increasing administrative burden, bunker prices and Brexit add up to challenging times for coastal and shortsea shipping, said Gilbert de Bock, general manager of the Dutch shipowning company De Bock Maritime.

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