Parliament’s Transport Committee has supported the removal of tax barriers for
the uptake of shore-side electricity supply (OPS) in ports for ships at
On September 24, the report presented by Ismail Ertug from the
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European
Parliament was voted by the committee.
The Ertug report on the deployment of infrastructure for
alternative fuels in the EU pointed out that taxation has a major impact on the
price competitiveness of alternative fuels and underlined that disparities in
energy taxation for shore-side supply for ships should be addressed.
European ports welcome the vote in the parliament and believe that
energy taxation on electricity has been a significant barrier for the uptake of
shore-side electricity for ships.
Currently, electricity produced from the combustion of marine fuel
on board ships is tax-exempt. However, when ships at berth are plugging into
the shore-side electricity system, they have to pay taxes applied to
electricity. Sweden, Germany and Denmark have been provided under the Energy
Taxation Directive with a permit to temporarily apply a reduced rate of
taxation to shore-side electricity for ships.
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) believes that a
permanent and EU wide tax exemption for the use of shore-side electricity under
the Energy Taxation Directive would put it on an equal footing with electricity
generated on board of ships produced from the combustion of tax-exempted marine
“Ports in Europe are investing a
lot in on shore-side electricity infrastructure (OPS). The tax barriers, which
make it for ships more expensive to plug in, have resulted in OPS installations
which are often underused,” Isabelle
Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General, commented.
“The vote in the Parliament gives
a strong signal. A permanent and European tax exemption for shore-side
electricity for ships at berth would take away a great disadvantage of using
electricity and would enhance its uptake, allowing ports and their surrounding
communities to reap the environmental benefits of these costly investments. The
uptake of OPS would contribute to further improving air quality and achieving
the EU climate targets. On top of that it reduces the noise of ships at berth.
We now hope that the message also reaches the Commission, the national
governments and the Ministers in charge of taxation issues,” Ryckbost added.