Cabotage: An Italian initiative against the abuse of cabotage rights

Having reason to believe that some non-EU ship-owners have abusively enjoyed rights of cabotage, which are reserved by Regulation CE n. 3577/1992 to EU flag ships, by employing formally EU flag ships actually managed outside the European Union, Confitarma requested the intervention of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport in order to safeguard the Italian merchant shipping fleet.

Such intervention led to a draft decree that, in order to check the genuinely EU nature of the ships employed in cabotage traffic, requires a self-certification regarding the identity of the master, the registered owner, the entity in charge of International Safety Management, the technical and commercial managers of the ship.

The purpose is to avoid the elusion of the rules on cabotage and make sure that, irrespective of the formal nationality of the ship or of the owning company, the management of the ship is actually carried out in the territory of an EU member State.

The draft decree has been submitted to the EU Commission (DG Move) in order to ascertain its consistency with EU law.

Marco Lopez De Gonzalo