ECSA urges EU to make fast progress in trade talks

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have sent a letter to chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier requesting “rapid and positive” progress in trade talks with the UK. ECSA, of which the UK Chamber is a member, represents shipowners. UK Chamber of Shipping CEO Guy Platten said that this was “a clear statement from shipowners across the EU and UK that a robust and ambitious trade agreement that allows goods to flow as freely and quickly as possible is essential and is in both sides’ interests.”

He added that “we recognize negotiations have been and will be difficult, but trade is the best form of diplomacy.”

Niels Smedegaard, outgoing ECSA president, said: “We need an agreement that will ensure the continuation of trade volumes and unimpeded trade movements across our shared borders. The industry should be kept informed about the progress in order to be able to prepare and get ready in time.”

He added that “European shipowners would like to see the Brexit negotiations respect the need for a level playing field for EU and UK shipping. We encourage the EU and UK to be guided by the objective of conformity in legislation relating to maritime affairs.”