Italy: Regulation (EU) 2017/352 Establishing A Framework For The Provision Of Port Services And Common Rules On The Financial Transparency Of Ports: A Preliminary Analysis Of The General Principles Set Out In The Preamble

Last Updated: 12 June 2018
Article by Barbara Gattorna

As anticipated in the last issue of our bulletin, we are going to conduct an exhaustive analysis of Regulation (EU) 2017/352 "establishing a framework for the provision of port services and common rules on the financial transparency of ports", which is a key piece of legislation on the subject – crucial to our industry – of the provision of port services and transparency of the financial relations between public authorities and port management bodies, with a focus on port service charges and the rights for use of port facilities.

We consider it useful to proceed with an analysis of the whereas clauses to the Regulation, which clarify the underlying reasons why the European legislator, working on the basis of the current regulatory and factual situation of European ports, found it appropriate to create a first comprehensive regulatory instrument.

The European legislator first seeks to clarify the relevance of European ports to the European Union, stating that "Ports contribute to the long-term competitiveness of European industries in world markets while adding value and jobs in all Union coastal regions1".

Therefore, the objective of the European ports regulation is to make or maintain competitive European industries, acknowledging the importance that the existence of a port may have in a region in terms of both increase in employment levels and impact on surrounding areas.

The most fitting examples relate to the creation and subsistence of the logistics industry near ports primarily operating cargo ships and the profit led to cities whose ports operate passenger ships, ferries or cruises.

Precisely since "The full integration of ports in seamless transport and logistics chains is needed to contribute to growth and amore efficient use and functioning of the trans-European transport network and the internal market"2, the European Union believes that modern port services should be provided that contribute to the efficient use of ports and that a climate favourable to investments should be assured.

The European legislator indeed makes reference to the European Commission's communication of 2012,3stating that the capacity of European ports to attract traffic is conditional on "availability, efficiency and reliability of port services"4. Nevertheless, pursuant to such communication, European and national bodies are responsible for thoroughly reviewing the existing restrictions on the provision of services at ports.

This is, moreover, a subject highly debated in Italy these days by both the sector's operators and authorities, who are asked to properly regulate the performance of port services, particularly with an eye to European and Italian anti-trust laws and regulations.

Nonetheless, the European legislator endorses the European Commission's statement on the "necessity of addressing questions regarding the transparency of public funding and port charges, as well as administrative simplification efforts in ports"5.

Indeed, according to the Union, facilitating access to the port services market by all the operators concerned (meeting certain requirements) and introducing financial transparency and autonomy of maritime ports will have a highly positive impact.

More specifically: (i) there will be an improvement in the quality and efficiency of the services provided to port users – be they professional or private operators; (ii) such improvement will contribute to a climate that is more favourable to investments in ports; (iii) there will be a reduction in costs for transport users; (iv) transparency and cost reduction will help promote short sea shipping.

On the other hand, in the opinion of the European legislator, greater access to port services and transparency in the management of ports will result in a significant increase in investments in ports and, therefore, greater integration of maritime transport with rail, inland waterway and road transport.

The European legislator then highlights the impact that a proper regulation of port services and greater transparency in the management of ports will have at public level.

Indeed, Whereas Clause 6 reads: "The establishment of a clear framework of transparent, fair and non-discriminatory provisions relating to the funding of and charges for port infrastructure and port services plays a fundamental role in ensuring that the port's own commercial strategy and investment plans and, where relevant, the general national ports policy framework comply fully with competition rules".

Once again, the Union addresses the delicate issue of complying with laws protecting competition at ports.

Again, with an eye to the public, the European legislator then addresses the issue of State aid, expressing the view that the transparency of financial relations will allow a fair and effective control of State aid, thus preventing market distortions.

Precisely in this regard, in Regulation (EU) 2017/352 it is recalled that the Council of the Union called up the EU Commission6to explore State aid guidelines for maritime ports "with the aim to ensuring fair competition and stable legal framework for port investment7".

After having illustrated the general principles of the Regulation as set out in its preamble, we invite you to tune in for the next issue of our Bulletin to start getting through and commenting on the whereas clauses and other provisions of the Regulation.


1 Whereas Clause 2.

2 Whereas Clause 1.

3 Communication from the Commission of 3 October 2012, "Single Market Act II — Together for new growth".

4 Whereas Clause 3.

5 See footnote 4.

6 Conclusions of 5.6.2014

7 Premise no. 6

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions