The Minister of Public Works, José Luis Ábalos, has also highlighted, as fundamental objectives of the Ministry of Development regarding maritime transport, "the constant concern for the protection of human life at sea and the conservation of the environment."

In his speech at the annual Assembly of the Association of Spanish Ships 2019 (ANAVE), Abalos has shown his appreciation for the work of this association for their willingness and cooperation in achieving these common objectives, given that "the maritime dimension indispensable for the economy of the country. "

The minister recalled the constant work of Fomento, in what refers to maritime transport, to achieve the highest levels of security, both operational (safety) and against illegal acts (security). Also to "guarantee decent working conditions for sea professionals, strengthen the fight against maritime pollution and strengthen the accessibility to maritime transport and connectivity of our extra-peninsular territories," he said.

In particular, Ábalos has ensured that "the Ministry has carried out a task of updating the existing legislation and a new regulation of those issues that the sector demands". He has given as an example the recent royal decrees that have updated the normative framework of the consignment of ships or the one that regulates the nautical recreational qualifications.

And for the near future, "some rules that we will work on in the coming months are the modification of the Ship Dispatch Regulations and the draft Ministerial Order determining the specifications of gasolines, gas oils, fuel oils and gases liquefied petroleum and regulates the use of certain biofuels, "said the minister.

Sustainability and digitalization

The Ministry of Public Works is no stranger to the maritime transport sector facing challenges that will mark its future and, being essential in the economic development of our country, according to the head of the department, "there are two essential aspects in which to put the focus of attention, such as sustainability and digitalization ".

Ábalos recalled that "the fight against climate change is one of the great challenges we face" and that public agencies are working "within the framework of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, the Paris Agreement 2015 and the objectives set for the European Union. "

Regarding the improvement of connectivity between modes, and the technological and operational improvement that allows increasing the efficiency of logistics, "digitization and multimodality are essential for maritime transport to remain a centerpiece of our growth economic and to contribute to environmental objectives, "said the minister, who has taken the opportunity to remember the initiatives in terms of digitization of the sector, such as the SIMPLE platform or the Smart Ports initiative that is being addressed.

Finally, regarding the demands of the sector, the minister has acknowledged that "we are very aware of the implications of having a fleet flagged in Spain, which provide greater employment opportunities to the entire economic ecosystem linked to the nationality of the vessel" and, for this, "it is worthwhile that we make from the ministry a study that considers the degree of competitiveness of our Special Registry in relation to those of the rest of the countries" and, in this way, "evaluate the modifications that would be necessary to give answer".

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