According to the mid-term review of the EU White Paper on Transport, Short Sea Shipping is expected to grow at a rate of 59% (metric tonnes) between 2000 and 2020. If we consider that the overall expected increase in both freight exchanges and volume is 50%, sea transport appears as one of the most feasible options to reduce traffic congestion on European roads. However, this alternative has not been definitely adopted because of technical, administrative and legal reasons. Moreover, society still regards maritime transport as a slow, inefficient mode since shippers do not yet offer the best value for money. Infrastructures need to be balanced by using tariff principles which reflect the exact external costs incurred by these infrastructures. Along this line of action, in 1998 the European Union published the White Paper on Fair Payment for Infrastructure Use: A Phased Approach to a Common Transport Infrastructure Charging Framework in the EU COM (1998) 466. This paper will conclude proposing an environmental bonus based on external cost savings associated with the use of the short sea alternative instead of road-only transport

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Published on 01/01/2009

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