Brussels, 6 December 2018
Joint Press Statement
Today, the EU and South Korea will discuss the South Korean shipping and shipbuilding state subsidies measures in the context of the EU - South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) implementation. SEA Europe and ECSA highly welcome these discussions, as European shipbuilding and maritime equipment industry and European shipowners, need a global level playing field and benefit from fair trade and competition as well as open markets.
SEA Europe and ECSA have previously voiced serious concerns about the negative impact of recent unsustainable, unfair and economically unsound trade-distorting rules in the shipbuilding and shipping industry. These, inter alia, jeopardize the recovery path of the global market towards a healthier business environment and more profitability.
Moreover, on 20 November, the EU notified WTO that it wants to join Japan’s consultations with South Korea on measures adopted by South Korea that affect trade in commercial vessels. Japan considers that certain measures taken by South Korea related to state aid measures, are inconsistent with its obligations under the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) and the GATT 1994.
SEA Europe and ECSA are concerned with any interference into market forces through unfair state aid measures and cargo reservation schemes. The actions launched by the EU and Japan now confirm these concerns. Both associations stand united in upholding the need for governments to fully respect and abide by their international obligations.
About SEA Europe: SEA Europe, the European Shipyards and Maritime Equipment Association, is the voice of the European maritime technology industry. SEA Europe promotes and supports European business enterprises which are involved in the building, construction, maintenance and repair of all types of ships and other relevant maritime structures, including the complete supply chain of systems, equipment and services. The EU 28 maritime technology industry is currently the leading global region in terms of aggregated production value of shipbuilding and ship systems production (EUR 112.5 Billion), and an important generator of employment (900.000 direct and indirect jobs).
About ECSA: The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) is a trade association representing the national shipowners’ associations of the EU and Norway. The European shipowners control 40% of the global commercial fleet, contribute 140 billion to the EU GDP and provide 2.1 million Europeans with careers both onboard and ashore. ECSA promotes the interests of European shipping so that the industry can best serve European and international trade in a competitive free business environment to the benefit of shippers and consumers.
European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) press release