Proposal for a Regulation on the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2021) 562
Publication Date 14/07/2021
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Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 14 July 2021, concerning the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport. It is also known as the FuelEU Maritime initiative. This is a text with EEA relevance.

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In September 2020, the European Commission established the aim to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. For this to be achieved, all transport modes must contribute to a sharp reduction in transport emissions. International maritime transport requires using both less energy and cleaner types of energy.

The so-called Fuel EU Maritime initiative proposes a common regulatory framework across the European Union (EU) aimed at increasing the share of renewable and low-carbon fuels in the fuel mix of international maritime transport without creating barriers to the single market. It sets a maximum limit on the GHG content of energy used by ships calling at European ports. It introduces amendments to Directive 2009/16/EC on port State control.

The draft law was unveiled by the European Commission on 14 July 2021, as part of the so-called Fit for 55 legislative package. The Council of the European Union adopted its general approach to the proposed Regulation on 2 June 2022. The plenary of the European Parliament endorsed a negotiating position on 19 October. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text for this file was reached on 23 March 2023. This was formally endorsed by Parliament on 11 July and by the Council on 25 July.

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Commentary and Analysis
Transport&Environment: Press Release, 14/07/2021: EU push to green shipping is positive but risks locking in fossil gas
ETF Europe: News, 15/07/2021: Occupational health and safety: FuelEU Maritime lacks long-term vision
Norton Rose Fulbright: Insights, October 2021: EU Green Deal and Maritime Fuel
Transport&Environment (T&E), February 2022: FuelEU Maritime: T&E Analysis and Recommendations. How to drive the uptake of sustainable fuels in European shipping
Open Access Government: 07/04/2022: What is the FuelEU Maritime Regulation?
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): At a Glance, 12/10/2022: FuelEU Maritime – Sustainable maritime fuels
EurActiv: Opinion, 17/10/2022: FuelEU Maritime deal lets shipping off the hook
European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO): Press Release, 20/10/2022: Europe's Ports see Fit for 55 vote on AFIR and FuelEU Maritime as an important step forward in reaching a solid compromise with Council
World Shipping Council: Position Paper, 26/10/2022: FuelEU Maritime Regulation – the WSC Perspective
Hydrogen Europe: HE signs joint FuelEU Maritime letter (19 January 2023)
European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA): News, 15/02/2023: ECSA statement on FuelEU Maritime negotiations
European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS): Briefing, 17/03/2023: Sustainable maritime fuels - 'Fit for 55' package: the FuelEU Maritime proposal
Swansea University: IISTL Blog, 24/03/2023: EU Parliament and Council reach agreement on FuelEU Maritime Regulation
Transport&Environment (T&E): Press Release, 23/03/2023: EU agrees to the world’s first green shipping fuel requirement
Renew Europe EP Group: Newsroom, 23/03/2023: Fuel EU Maritime: Balanced deal increases climate ambitions and safeguards EU competitiveness to kick-start maritime decarbonisation
Dublin City University (DCU): Brexit Institute: News, 30/03/2023: FuelEU Maritime Regulation — A Step Ahead for the Decarbonization of Maritime Transport
Norton Rose Fulbright: Publications, July 2023: New regulation on the FuelEU Initiative adopted by the European Council following scrutiny
Transport & Environment: Report, 18/07/2023: The impact of FuelEU Maritime on European shipping

EurActiv, 20/10/2022: Parliament backs EU’s maritime fuel law to curtail shipping emissions

EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)635: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact Assessment
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)636: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Sustainable maritime fuels (FuelEU Maritime Initiative) (2021/0210(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Fuel EU Maritime - Sustainable maritime fuels
European Commission: Reducing emissions from the shipping sector
European Commission: Press Release, 14/07/2021: European Green Deal: Commission proposes transformation of EU economy and society to meet climate ambitions
European Commission: Questions and Answers - Sustainable transport, infrastructure and fuels (14 July 2021)
EPP EP Group: Newsroom, 19/10/2022: Decarbonise maritime transport while remaining competitive
European Commission: Press Release, 23/03/2023: European Green Deal: Agreement reached on cutting maritime transport emissions by promoting sustainable fuels for shipping
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 23/03/2023: FuelEU Maritime initiative: Provisional agreement to decarbonise the maritime sector
European Parliament: Press Release, 23/03/2023: Fit for 55: deal on new EU rules for cleaner maritime fuels
European Parliament: Press Release, 11/07/2023: MEPs adopt new rules for more charging stations and greener maritime fuels
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 25/07/2023: FuelEU maritime initiative: Council adopts new law to decarbonise the maritime sector
Irish Government: Press Release, 28/07/2023: Agreement Reached on Key European Climate Laws for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure and Greener Maritime Fuels

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