Maltese hauliers on Malta to Genoa sea-route already saving 70% in Co2 emissions

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April, 2024 at 9:19 am by Andre Camilleri

Malta, Ireland, Cyprus demand fair treatment in EU transport policy overhaul

Over the past months, ATTO, the Malta Chamber, the Malta Business Bureau, together with the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been preparing an important advocacy campaign urging the European institutions to revise existing road transport legislation in view of the distorted competition that exists between countries on mainland Europe and disadvantaged island operators.

“Notwithstanding Malta, Cyprus and Ireland being three fully-fledged island member states of the European Union, EU policies related to maritime and road transport are usually not considering our inherent specificities and disadvantages, particularly our insularity and other geographical realities,” said ATTO chairman Joseph Bugeja.

Bugeja explained how the campaign targets in particular a revision of the EU’s Combined Transport Directive which is impacting the three countries’ logistics and supply chains.

The main objective of the Island Nations Advocacy Group formed by road haulage representatives is that transport operations between island nations and mainland EU should automatically be considered as combined transport. This will give them access to useful incentives such as driving on weekends, fiscal rebates, or the possibility to do more than 3 cabotage operations in 7 days.

We have partially succeeded in convincing the European Commission to take our specificities into account in its legislative proposal of November 2023. However, further improvements are necessary to get the automatic benefit of the Combined Transport status for island national operators.

“In the spirit of more sustainable operations, many hauliers are opting for longer sea legs. By opting for these more sustainable routes, they are contributing to less traffic and more fuel savings, especially in the context of the current energy crisis. Their efforts are also supporting two important European priorities: the Green Deal and the energy sobriety. For these efforts, hauliers must be encouraged with the right support and incentives and not penalised further,” explains Joseph Bugeja.

Currently, Maltese hauliers are choosing to utilise the Malta to Genoa route entirely by sea instead of driving from Pozzallo in Sicily to Genoa. This is leading to considerable savings in Co2 emissions of up to 70% when compared to the road link from Pozzallo to Genoa.

The request to undo the disadvantages of the current Combined Transport regime for Island nations will also be reflected in the upcoming position paper of the International Road Union, the world’s largest organisation representing road transport operators.

“The fact that we are addressing these important issues with the support of the IRU should help us put even more pressure on the EU to consider our proposals. A successful outcome is imperative if we want to safeguard the sustainability and continuity of our crucial supply chain,” concluded Joseph Bugeja.

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