EU’s “Fit for 55” Package

Extending the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to international shipping


The EU institutions have adopted the revised EU ETS Directive extended to include international shipping in a controversial regional scheme putting on shipping companies, and in particular SMEs, a serious financial and administrative burden. Positive elements in the revised Directive, are the provision for application of the “polluter pays” principle - making a ship’s commercial operator responsible for the cost of compliance - and the earmarking of part of the revenues generated from shipping for the decarbonisation of the sector. Hopefully, these revenues will balance out the price difference between conventional marine fuels and new compliant fuels in a cost-effective way. A review clause to align the Directive with a future global regulation, that is currently being examined at the IMO, is another positive element which will ensure a smooth energy transition of shipping to carbon neutrality by the middle of this century with minimal market distortion.

Fit for purpose and practical implementation of new regulations is needed to achieve the goal of shipping’s energy transition.

FuelEU Maritime Regulation: crucial for promoting renewable and low- carbon fuels in maritime transport

The final Trialogue agreement between the European institutions on the new FuelEU Maritime Regulation in March 2023 is positive for the green transition of shipping, as to a certain extent it recognises the crucial role of fuel suppliers in deploying the required marine fuels for use by ships. The UGS was the first to support the importance of the recognition of this parameter for shipping’s decarbonisation.

Shipping and especially SMEs will have serious issues of compliance when compliant fuels are not available in sufficient quantities at EU ports and worldwide.

The FuelEU Maritime Regulation places obligations on ships without adequately taking account of the availability of compliant fuels in the EU and worldwide.