Facilitating Short Sea Shipping: customs authorities informed of ships movements by Blue Belt pilot project
Can a customs authority be certain that a ship declaring intra-EU goods has only visited EU ports? This is now possible for the 250 vessels voluntarily participating in the Blue Belt pilot project.
Started as an initiative of the Belgian EU Presidency, endorsed by the Council of Transport Ministers on 2 December 2010i and welcomed by Vice President Kallas of the Commission, the Blue Belt pilot project enters its operational phase this week. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has prepared the Blue Belt pilot project in cooperation with Member States' customs authorities, the Commission services DG TAXUD and DG MOVE, the European Community of Shipowners' Association (ECSA) and the World Shipping Council (WSC). The project will automatically monitor the participating ships and inform the customs authorities, before arrival, of the actual voyages followed and the last ports visited.