| Code: 65179 |

TIN news:     Official delegations consisted of representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, the Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility (DG Move) of the European Commission and EU Member States. The Chinese and European shipping industries were represented by the China Shipowners' Association and ECSA.
"These annual meetings between the world's biggest maritime powers are not only extremely useful for both the EU and Chinese maritime administrations but also for the respective shipping industries they regulate" said ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven and added:
"They offer a good overview of the latest maritime policy developments and provide a stable and regular platform, which fosters exchanges and discussions on issues raised by the shipping industry".
Commenting on the merits of the EU-China maritime dialogue, Lieselot Marinus, Director of International Affairs at ECSA, said:
"The implementation meetings of this maritime agreement, the first and only of its kind concluded between the EU and another major maritime power, are a model for the type of cooperation we would like to see established with other key partners of the EU.'
Besides discussing trade issues, the platform also provides the opportunity to exchange views on regulatory issues and allows for streamlining opinions and positions in the spirit of working towards global solutions at the level of the IMO.
One of the ECSA priority issues addressed during the meeting is the international relay of ships and more concretely the extension of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone to  five more ports. In these free trade zones, Chinese controlled ships can carry cargo between Chinese ports not only when flying the Chinese flag but also a foreign flag. EU shipowners are concerned by this development, as this regime places EU companies at a further disadvantage vis-a-vis Chinese companies, compared to the previous situation where ships carrying cargo between Chinese ports had to be both Chinese-owned and Chinese-flagged. This rule also diverges from the international practice of having the flag rather than the nationality of the shipowner determine market access.

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