Global shippers unite against EU tariff

Shippers worldwide are opposing an EU tariff on carriers flying into European airspace. They say consumers are unable to afford the price hikes the Emissions Trading Scheme, which became effective at the start of the year, will force on time-sensitive air shipments of drugs and fresh produce.

Global Shippers' Forum Secretary General Chris Welsh, who chairs a task force on air cargo sustainability for a coalition of shippers, freight forwarders and international air cargo groups, said the coalition supports carbon reduction efforts. But it opposes the unilateral EU scheme. "This will have a direct impact on manufacturers, growers and the entire freight forwarding and logistics industry.  The EU needs to fully evaluate the wider economic consequences of its actions," Welsh said, according to an Air Cargo World report.

The U.S., China and India have asked the EU to forego the tariff for carbon standards developed through the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is sanctioned by the Kyoto Protocol.

The tariff's lack of an international framework will be "chaotic," Welsh explained. It will "unnecessarily cost the air cargo industry and its customers tens of millions of dollars at a time when the global economy is so fragile, and when every effort is being made to stimulate global demand."

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