European shipowners welcome the proposed EU trade agreements with Japan and Singapore

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The European Commission today presented trade agreements with Japan and Singapore to the Council to eventually be adopted. The European shipowners are very pleased that the first step towards the conclusion of these agreements has been taken. “With Japan and Singapore agreements Europe sends a strong message to the world in support of fair and regulated trade”, said ECSA’s Secretary General Martin Dorsman. 

The agreement with Japan is the biggest bilateral trade partnership ever negotiated by the European Union. It will remove the vast majority of customs duties that cost EU companies exporting to Japan €1 billion a year. EU exports to Japan could increase by over one third. “It contains obligations to maintain open and non-discriminatory access to international maritime services such as transport and auxiliary services, as well as access to ports and port services,” Dorsman reminded.

“Shipping needs global trade to exist and global trade cannot exist without an efficient shipping industry. Around 90% of world trade in goods is carried by the international shipping industry and European shipowners control 40% of the world’s merchant fleet and operate shipping services all over the world,” he concluded.

European Shipowners look forward to the Council’s approval of the agreements. Once approved by the Council, they will be sent to the European Parliament, aiming for the entry into force before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in 2019. The investment protection agreement with Singapore will follow its ratification procedure also at Member State level. 

For more information, please contact:


Martin Dorsman

Secretary General

Rue Ducale, Hertogstraat 67/B2

1000 Brussels, Belgium

T+ 32 2 510 61 26


Karoliina Rasi

Director – Public Affairs & Communications

Rue Ducale, Hertogstraat 67/B2

1000 Brussels, Belgium

T +32 2 510 61 34

M +32 476 349 263