Preface

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Ludwig Criel
Chairman

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Wilfried Lemmens
Managing Director

The events of 2020 make us feel a special appreciation for our seafarers, who dutifully kept performing their tasks worldwide in exceptionally difficult circumstances, thus guaranteeing shipping’s ability to help support the world economy.

Through the Green Deal and Taxonomy, Europe has been developing new legislation to control all emissions. RBSA’s preference in this regard absolutely goes to a worldwide fuel levy. Belgium’s shipowners will study European initiatives with attention, striving for guarantees that a worldwide level playing field will come about.

In the framework of MIDC, RBSA cooperates with Waterborne, to facilitate the maritime technical dialogue between the various maritime stakeholders and to contribute to the emergence and nurturing of ideas leading to new technologies.

Unfortunately, the Hong Kong Convention has not yet come into effect. The rigidity shown by Europe leads to a situation in which shipowners find it almost impossible to have their vessels registered under a European national flag. RBSA therefore calls on Europe to adopt a more realistic approach regarding the approval of Hong Kong Convention approved Asian shipyards.

Piracy remains a worldwide problem. The Belgian shipowners are happy with Europe’s initiative regarding a joint effort to tackle piracy off West-Africa. RBSA expresses special gratitude to the Belgian Navy for their contribution both to this project and to protecting merchant shipping in the Straits of Hormuz.

RBSA moreover thanks the Belgian authorities and the social partners for their constructive mindset with respect to the future of Belgium’s merchant navy.

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