More efficient port services: Council adopts reform

A new set of rules to increase the financial transparency of ports and create clear and fair conditions for access to the port services market throughout Europe was formally adopted by the Council on 23 January 2017.

The regulation will make it easier for new providers of certain port services to enter the market. It will create a more level playing field and reduce legal uncertainties for ports, port service providers and investors. This should encourage investment in ports, improve the quality of services provided to port users, and even help reduce prices.

The new rules will ensure transparency of port charges and public funding of ports. This will lead to better use of public funds and the effective and fair application of EU competition rules in ports. At the same time the new rules are designed to take into account the diversity of the sector across Europe.

Hon. Joe Mizzi, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, said: “I welcome these reforms. The port sector is vital to the success of Europe’s economy, and it stands to benefit from the increased transparency and clarity which these new rules bring.”

This final vote by the Council concludes the procedure at first reading. The European Parliament voted on 14 December 2016. The legal act will be signed by both institutions in mid-February and published in the EU Official Journal a few weeks later. It will enter into force 20 days after its publication.