Extracts from the joint press conference by Siim Kallas and Algirdas Šemeta on plans to facilitate customs procedures for maritime transport
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 08/07/2013 First transmission: 08/07/2013
On 8 July 2013, Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transports, and Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud, gave a press conference in Brussels to present the plans set out by the European Commission to ease custom formalities for ships – reducing red tape, cutting delays in ports and making the sector more competitive.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium
||Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transports, and Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud, before the beginning of the press conference
||Soundbite by Siim Kallas (in ENGLISH): Today, only about a third of freight moving within the EU is carried by sea. Almost 50% is carried by road. Industry complains that they are forced to send goods by road, because a heavy administrative burden causes long delays in ports and makes shipping less attractive. Ships can sometimes wait for hours or even days in ports for customs clearance. Today, together with Algirdas Šemeta, we are proposing 2 key measures to ease customs formalities in ports.
||Cutaway of a journalist
||Soundbite by Siim Kallas (in ENGLISH): For intra-EU shipping, we want to upgrade the procedures already in place to make them shorter and more flexible. For ships that call also in third country ports, we want to separate EU and the non EU goods on board. This will significantly lighten the customs formalities needed.
||Cutaway of a journalist
||Soundbite by Siim Kallas (in ENGLISH): So, it makes no sense that today, a ship travelling from Antwerp to Rotterdam, has the same customs formalities as if it were coming from China.
Today, we are taking another step to making barriers to free movement of goods a thing of the past for shipping too.
||General view of the speakers
||Soundbite by Algirdas Šemeta (in ENGLISH): The Blue Belt will put shipping on a level-playing field with other forms of transport, reduce costs and administration, and facilitate trade.
It will also enhance the situation for Customs, by simplifying procedures and enabling them to focus more on areas of real risk.
||Cutaway of a photographer
||Soundbite by Algirdas Šemeta (in ENGLISH): This saves time and money for businesses. And it facilitates the work of Customs, by freeing up time and resources needed to collect duties and better target risks. All in all, the Blue Belt project is one that very much reflects our European agenda for more growth and competitiveness.
||Siim Kallas and Algirdas Šemeta leaving the press room