2019 TO DO LIST IN MARITIME INDUSTRY

11 Мар

Новый год — это традиционно свежий старт для амбициозных планов. Для Украины начало 2019-го — это новая сессия парламента, старт очень напряженного политического сезона и существующий конфликт в Азовском море. Так что же будет происходить в 2019-м в морской отрасли, какие решения будут определять ее развитие и чего ждет бизнес?

В настоящем аналитическом материале автор из Европейской Бизнес Ассоциации (European Business Association) рассматривает ключевые моменты истории 2018 года, а также соответствующие перспективы 2019 года. А именно: портовые сборы, инфраструктурные законопроекты, концессия морских портов, корпоратизация АМПУ и Морская Администрация.

Methodology and port dues

Business circles unambiguously and positively assessed the 20% re­duction of port dues as of 1 January 2018. It was a very important step towards improving competitiveness of Ukrainian ports and Ukrainian products on the world markets. In the meantime we hope that it was just the first step and that the government will continue this positive trend. Indeed, the results of 2018 proved that the cargo flow had increased and that the right course had been chosen. We know what to stick at in future though nowadays we are still more expensive than our immediate com­petitors in the Black Sea basin. As the World Bank has evaluated, the port dues in Ukraine should be still reduced by about 54% so that they can be­come competitive with the other ports — that will be sufficient to maintain our port infrastructure in a proper condition.

However, we understand that the port dues reduction should go in parallel with further reduction of dividends that the SE «USPA» pays in favour of the state budget from 50% to 30%, which will enable to increase the resource channelled for the development of the SE «USPA» maritime infrastructure.

We also emphasize the necessity to targeted use of the dues as it is clearly prescribed by the Law of Ukraine «On Sea Ports». As of now, it is not always so, As an illustration of this situation can be use of a part of the canal dues to inland waterways. Surely, rivers should be developed. How­ever, to this end it is necessary to adopt the law on inland water transport which is to define the sources of their financing.
The methodology of port dues rates calculation which the Ministry and the USPA are developing now is still suspended. It is very important for the Association that such calculation is transparent to the maximum and embody the original idea of this document — to set up economically justified port dues rates. But it does not follow from the current version in a number of crucial aspects for businesses and because of absence of the preliminary port dues rates calculations on the basis of the developed document.
It is significant that the Methodology is developed and presented in combination with the other two documents — Procedure of levying port dues rates and their sizes and Procedure of recording and use of port dues proceeds.

Infrastructural draft laws

In 2018 none of the European integration draft law was adopted that concerns infrastructure which produced a negative effect on development of the whole industry. Therefore, expectations of businesses from the new parliamentary session are very high because in the Rada there are draft laws that are of key importance for the Ukrainian transport and infrastructure: «On inland water transport», «On concessions» and a new draft law «On Railroad transport» (will be brought in in January-February 2019).
As regards maritime industry, the business waits for the second hearing of the draft law «On concessions». We support this draft law and hope for its adoption in the nearest future, however, with due account of the amendments suggested by the Association. A part of the suggestions to the first hearing was taken into account but we still have comments on the definition of concession facilities, environmental impact assessment, conclusion of a concession agreement with a state property lessee, state support of concession projects and a number of concluding and transitional provisions. We hope that these suggestions will be taken into account as they are necessary for the draft law to result, in the long run, in positive changes in many branches of the economy which the business and the country expects.
No less important is the problem of restoration of the river transportation which necessitates considerable improvement at the legislative level. Regulation of the inland water transport (IWT) sphere has many drawbacks and needs to be revised because the Law of Ukraine «On Transport» still remains the basic legal enactment. Still this sphere takes guidance of the «Charter of Inland Water Transport of the USSR» adopted in 1963 and several more modern regulatory acts. Apart of that, the current legislation contains a number of uncertainties in such basic definitions as river port, territory and river port water area.
For this very reason so great attention is paid to the new law on IWT because for the last 26 years transportation by rivers remained at the minimum level, in particular because of the absence of the law.
Additionally, the Ministry of Infrastructure plans to commence development of the «sea and river transport constitution» — the new Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine.

Concession of sea ports

We advocate creation of various mechanisms of the public-private partnership. The Association is of opinion that reduction of the state property share due to attraction of private domestic and foreign investments in the ports will allow of making their operation more efficient. At the same time we consider that each sea port of Ukraine has its own history which means that the governmental approaches to their future destiny may not be identical for all ports. Some ports should choose concessions, the other are to be privatized.
Therefore, we hope for adoption of the draft law «On Concessions» with the comments of businesses in the first months of 2019. Development of pilot projects in the ports of Olvia and Kherson was a good signal for investors, in the end of December 2018 the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine (MEDT) approved the conclusions on the feasibility study. This fact becomes the starting point for preparation to open concession tenders. Accomplishment of concession projects will make it possible to attract long-term investment in the infrastructure of Ukraine, increase revenues to the local and state budgets and facilitate efficiency of assets control.

Corporatization of the USPA and Maritime Administration

The newly established Maritime Administration in charge of the state policy in the spheres of sea and river transport, merchant shipping, river navigation, navigation and hydrographic support of shipping and safety at sea and river transport proceeded to work in August 2018. By now 5 territorial structural divisions of the Maritime Administration have been established, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine transferred to it six specialized enterprises and institutions, amendments to the legal and regulatory framework are being developed. In 2019 the Maritime Administration will continue to reform the maritime branch.
The USPA will also change — the government approved of a possibility to corporatize the USPA which is expected already this year. Such decision will enable to proceed from the state-owned enterprise to the joint stock company with 100% of shares owned by the state, set up a Supervisory Board, implement world practices of property management and simplify purchasing procedures.
Finally, no least important for a successful operation and business development is provision of a guarantee that its work will not be subject to power game or inspections of the so-called «isolated ballast». Having said that, we stress that business wants to work within the legal framework where rules of behaviour are clearly defined both for businesses and the control authorities.

Автор: Yaryna SKOROKHOD,
Logistics Committee Coordinator, European Business Association

Источник: Судоходство Shipping. — 2019. — № 1-2. — С. 6 — 8.