10 November 2023


At the end of October the European Commission published the Implementing Regulation identifying neighbouring container transhipment ports according to the ETS Directive. The list remains unchanged compared to the previous draft issued mid-August, with Tanger Med (Morocco) and East Port Said (Egypt) which will be excluded from the definition of port of call in the ETS maritime, in order to avoid carriers’ evasion strategies from paying ETS allowances.

In its feedback submitted in September, CLECAT welcomed the inclusion of Tanger and Port Said, but warned that more ports would fit the criteria of the ETS Directive to be included in this list over the next months. CLECAT sees here the beginning of a worrying trend of disinvestment in EU ports close to EU borders (especially in the Mediterranean Sea), undermining the connectivity of certain regions of Europe and overall, the EU competitiveness. As a consequence, this could also pose serious operational difficulties for freight forwarders, as more cargo would be transhipped, reducing the number of direct connections and potentially adding delays.

CLECAT therefore continues to call on the Commission to closely monitor non-EU ports close to EU borders, some of which have or will have the infrastructure capacity to manage higher volume of transhipped containers once the EU ETS will effectively apply as of 2024. In addition, CLECAT estimates that the list should be reviewed every year, as the two-year period set out in the ETS Directive is too long.