Mobility and Transport


Internal market - Free access to ocean trade

Internal market - Free access to ocean trade

The free provision of services (regulation 4055/86) in the maritime transport sector ensures that users of those services, i.e. logistic operators, sea passengers and, ultimately, the final consumer, have a better choice of services and that those services are offered at good prices. Moreover, the European Commission works actively in support of quality shipping in the EU and all over the world. Safety, security, environmental protection and working conditions of seafarers are at the core of the EU action in this field.

Freedom to provide services

Regulation (EEC) No 4055/86 gives Member State nationals (and non-EU shipping companies using ships registered in a Member State and controlled by Member State nationals) the right to carry passengers or goods by sea between any port of a Member State and any port or off-shore installation of another Member State or of a non-EU country.

Unfair pricing in maritime transport

Regulation (EEC) No 4057/86 enables the EU to apply compensatory duties in order to protect shipowners in Member States from unfair pricing practices on the part of non-EU shipowners. The Regulation defines the injury that can be taken into consideration, e.g. a reduction in the shipowner's market share or profits or in employment.

Free access to ocean trades

Regulation (EEC) No 4058/86 applies when action by a non-EU country or by its agents restricts free access to the transport of liner cargoes, bulk cargoes or other cargoes by shipping companies of Member States or by ships registered in a Member State, except where such action is taken in conformity with the UN Liner Code. The Regulation defines the expressions "home trader" and "cross-trader".