On 24 September the European Commission published a decision on the setting-up of a group of experts on maritime transport sustainability – the European Sustainable Shipping Forum (ESSF) – and issued a call for applications for experts to join the group. The deadline for applications is 18 October.
According to a statement by the EC, the ESSF “will bring together member states and maritime industry stakeholders. It will enable a structural dialogue, exchange of best practices and coordination, thus providing the opportunity to discuss practical issues that could be encountered during the implementation process, in particular during the transition phase before the entry into force of the new standard”.
The setting-up of the group follows a progress report on the implementation of the Commission Staff Working Paper Pollutant emission reduction from maritime transport and the Sustainable Waterborne Transport Toolbox.
It is envisaged the ESSF will advance the Sustainable Waterborne Transport Toolbox's efforts to find a cost-efficient and coherent implementation of a directive on the sulphur content of marine fuels which transposes the international low sulphur standards into EU law.
In particular the forum aims to:
• Provide guidance on the implementation of the Sulphur Directive
• Create framework conditions for the use of marine LNG as ship fuel
• Create framework conditions for the use of scrubbing technology in shipping
• Explore and evaluate all the available financing opportunities
• Co-ordinate research and development activities and encourage innovation.