Container Carriers Introduce Varied ETS Surcharges to Offset EU Emissions Trading System Costs

Container mega alliances with 10% blank sailings in Asia-Europe trade

As the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is set to take effect on January 1, container carriers are unveiling a spectrum of surcharges to address the associated costs. Starting next year, shipowners will be obligated to purchase credits for CO2 emissions produced during journeys to EU ports, according to sources.

Israeli carrier ZIM has recently announced the imposition of nine New Emissions Fees (NEF) effective January 1, 2024. These fees include a EUR 37 per TEU charge for journeys from the Americas to Europe, covering North America, WC South America, Caribbean to Europe, and the Mediterranean. For Asia-to-Europe routes, excluding China export to Europe, the surcharge stands at EUR 13 per TEU.

ZIM has clarified that surcharges applicable to trades governed by the China Maritime Regulations are contingent upon the publication and effective date specified in those regulations. They will only be binding if included in a service contract filed with the Shanghai Shipping Exchange.

Japanese carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) has also joined the roster of companies announcing new ETS-related surcharges. Their thirteen surcharges on dry containers include a USD 23 per TEU premium for Asia-to-Europe trades and USD 30 per TEU for North America to Europe services. The carrier intends to review its tariffs and calculation logic on a quarterly basis.

Meanwhile, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) plans to impose a EUR 27 per TEU surcharge on Far East to North Europe trades. For US to Europe services, an additional EUR 15 per TEU will be applied, rising to EUR 46 for Europe to the US.

The divergence in surcharge prices has sparked surprise among shippers, particularly as carriers have not disclosed the calculation methods behind these levies. Ministers from seven EU countries, including Spain and Italy, have expressed concerns about the potential impact on European ports’ business and limited environmental benefits. In response, they have written to the European Commission, urging the option to reconsider the inclusion of shipping in the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

In addition to announcements by Evergreen and COSCO, ZIM, OOCL, and ONE, Yang Ming and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) have also unveiled their respective charges. HMM anticipates a significant cost associated with obtaining the EU Allowance credit. The evolving landscape of ETS-related surcharges underscores the complexities and challenges faced by the shipping industry as it navigates the transition towards greener practices.

Source: Alphaliner
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