Felixstowe port chief calls for EU rules cutback

Port of Felixstowe CEO CLemence Cheng.

Port of Felixstowe CEO CLemence Cheng. - Credit: Archant

European legislators need to strip away regulations and allow ports to compete “freely and fairly”, according to the boss of Britain’s biggest boxport.

Clemence Cheng, chief executive officer for the Port of Felixstowe, owned by Hutchison Ports, said it would be difficult, it not impossible, for the EU to meet the challenge across the continent.

He said: “Fitting a single regulatory system, a one-size-fits-all solution, to such a large and varied industry will be difficult, if not impossible. The initial attempts have not been auspicious; the European Parliament has already rejected two attempts to introduce port-specific legislation.

“A third attempt, in the shape of a Port Services Regulation, is currently making its way through the legislative process.

“It remains to be seen whether it succeeds this time.

“Ports are, quite rightly, required to meet certain environmental standards and we support the new Transport Commissioner, Violetta Bulc in her wish to push the green agenda.

The best way for the EU to maximize the efficiency of ports is not to add regulation but to strip away unnecessary rules, remove barriers to entry, and let ports compete without subsidy, freely and fairly with one another. Commissioner Bulc has done the right thing by consulting the industry early in her tenure and I wish her well in achieving these goals.”

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He had already met the commissioner to discuss issues of concern.