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BOOK REVIEW -THE EU SEAPORTS REGULATION

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

BOOK REVIEW - THE EU SEAPORTS REGULATION

Simon Baughen

Professor of Shipping Law, Swansea University
(Portius Port Law Series vol.111). Eric Van Hooydonk. Port Law Professor at the Maritime Institute of the University of Ghent, Advocate, Antwerp. Portius Publishing, Antwerp (2019) lvii and 1092 pp, plus 140 pp Appendices and 16 pp Index. Hardback €250.
This is a major work on the European Union’s 2017 Port Services Regulation (Regulation 2017/352, establishing a framework for the provision of port services and common rules on the financial transparency of ports). The Regulation became applicable on 24 March 2019, a few days before the UK was originally scheduled to leave the EU. Professor Van Hooydonk describes it, at p.1133, as “[t]he keystone—if not the crown jewel—of European port policy … It submits the European seaport sector to liberalisation and charging principles which were introduced long ago for other transport and utilities sectors characterised by large-scale public intervention and special or exclusive rights, such as air transport, airports, rail transport, telecommunications, post services and energy”. And over the course of 1307 pages the author provides the definitive commentary on this keystone of European port policy. Those seeking a shorter read can refer to the summary at pp 59–66 (“Twenty-five Frequently Asked Questions”).
The Regulation addresses market access for port service providers and the financial aspects of port management, and applies to over 300 seaports in the EU and the European Free Trade Agreement. After the introduction in Chapter 1, the book considers the policy background to the regulation in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 looks at the serpentine legislative genesis of the Regulation. Starting with the 1997 Green Paper on Seaports and Maritime Infrastructure, there followed two proposals for a directive, in 2001 and 2004 (Port Package I and Port Package II), which were rejected by the European Parliament, partly in response to protests by port workers’ unions. In 2013 the European Commission proposed a Regulation, which was eventually introduced in 2017, pursuant to TFEU, Art.100(2), which empowers the European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, to lay down appropriate provisions for sea (and air) transport after consulting the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The Regulation expressly provides that it is without prejudice to Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU, which deal with concession contracts, public procurement and procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors, respectively.
In Chapter 4 we get to the heart of the matter, the Regulation’s scope of application. This sets out the ports and port services subject to the Regulation. The Regulation applies to applies to “all maritime ports of the trans-European transport network, as

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