The Lower House unanimously adopted a motion promising that the government should make agreements with the inland shipping industry about the time that ships may use a berth. The purpose of the motion is to allow ships to remain at a berth for a longer period of time now that many have less work due to corona. It often happens that ships are sent away after three days and have to look for another berth while empty.
Cem Laçin of the SP and Wytse Postma of the CDA state that Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen has promised to be lenient with the three times 24 hour period for berths. In this motion, the Lower House of Parliament asks the government to make clearer agreements with the sector on berth policy that meet the needs of skippers. Rijkswaterstaat would take the lead in complying with and enforcing the agreements.
Cabinet rejects request for corona compensation for inland shipping operators
The request by CBRB, BLN-Schuttevaer and ASV for compensation for inland shipping operators on account of corona was rejected by the Cabinet. The Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced that cargo shipping does not qualify for the COVID-19 Allowance for entrepreneurs in affected sectors nor for the fixed charges allowance.
BLN-Schuttevaer reacts on LinkedIn that there are problems in inland dry cargo transport mainly because there are no government regulations that are accessible to the SME family businesses. “The scheme does not apply to family businesses (usually no permanent staff) and in cases where there is permanent staff, the ship must remain manned even if there are fewer voyages. The rejection is a disappointment for this category of entrepreneurs. If we want to make headway with ‘modal shift’, measures must be taken to prevent these businesses from collapsing. More about water starts with preserving what we have now.