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This week's top stories on ShippingWatch

J. Lauritzen is challenged by excessive sulfur in new fuels, Global Risk Management opens new offices and reshuffles management, while a shipping CEO thinks the industry is unprepared for climate-related challenges. These are some of this week's most important stories on ShippingWatch.

EU Commission to review tax exemption for ship fuel oil

All 28 EU member states have adopted a text that calls on the EU Commission to propose changes to the energy taxation directive. It looks like considerations will be made for shipping companies, says Danish minister of finance.

Carbon quotas for ships could be adopted as soon as next year

Powerful forces in the European Parliament are working to impose the CO2 quotas on shipping that companies are fighting vehemently against already next year. ShippingWatch has interviewed Jutta Paulus, spokesperson for a bill that could make the quotas a reality in 2020.

Romania nominates new transport commissioner

The EU's next transport commissioner will likely hail from Romania, where the government has now nominated its candidate for the job. The original candidate was previously blocked by the European Parliament.

ECSA pleased with pick for new transport commissioner

The European Community Shipowners' Association "warmly welcomes" the nomination of Romanian Rovama Plumb as new commissioner for transport. The association also praises the nominations of Margrethe Vestager, Phil Hogan and Frans Timmermans.

EU Commissioner hopes for extension of container block exemption

If EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc has her way, the container sector's consortia block exemption regulation should be extended, she says in an interview with ShippingWatch. The regulation gives liner companies certain competitive edges, and it is currently being reviewed.

Huge Chinese ambitions threaten Europe's shipping sector

China has several projects in the works aimed at helping the country's shipbuilding and shipping sector. "I don't think that in the shipowners community there is a full understanding of the impact of the Chinese policy yet," says Sea Europe's Secretary General in an interview with ShippingWatch.

New OECD report casts doubts on liner companies block exemption

Most of the consortia cooperation between liner companies exceed the threshold they must remain below to benefit from the EU's consortia block exemption, concludes a new report by the International Transport Forum, a body under OECD. This is noteworthy for three reasons, says ITF.

World's largest cash buyer disappointed in EU rejection of Alang

Anil Sharma, CEO of the world's largest cash buyer, GMS, is disappointed by the EU's decision to reject two yards in India, Alang. He projects that the scrap value of European ships will drop by 60 to 80 percent if they are to scrapped according to EU rules.

Even the most ardent opponents of BER want to maintain container alliances

The fronts between container carriers and shippers are not necessarily that fiercely drawn when it comes to the carriers' unique competitive edge, says Sea-Intelligence. Even the most ardent opponents of the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation do not want to get rid of alliances altogether, notes the firm.

EU Commission wants to keep CO2 data public

Information about ships' emission of greenhouse gases should be published, maintains the EU Commission after revising the so-called MRV system. However, the commission did budge on one point.

EU to scrutinize European shipyard merger

The EU Commission is acting on a request by two countries and will now look into Fincantieri's plans to buy Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The merger of the two shipbuilders could potentially harm competition, says the Commission.

EU approves list of scrapping yards

The latest version of the EU list of shipbreaking facilities has now received final approval. The Indian yards Maersk works with were not approved for the list. The rules will come into force two weeks from now.

EU approves privatization of HSH Nordbank

EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager has approved the privatization of German shipping bank HSH Nordbank. German authorities have found a sustainable solution for the bank, she says.

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