On 24th March 2017, the EU Regulation no. 352/2017 will enter into force. The Regulation sets a new regulatory framework on port services supply and introduces common rules on financial transparency, port services fees and use of port infrastructures. By the adoption of the new Regulation, EU pursues the definition of clear, equal and non-discriminatory rules in order to promote a good business strategy and ensure the compliance of port investment plans with the rules on competition providing, where necessary, for the subsidiary intervention of the EU bodies pursuant to Art. 5 of the Treaty on the European Union.
By the judgment no. 02655 of 21st February 2017, the Regional Court of Lazio (TAR) repealed the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport’s provisions which assessed the road transport minimal costs on the basis of the same formula previously used by the Osservatorio sulle Attività di Autotrasporto. TAR refers to the important decision of the European Court of Justice issued on 4th September 2014, where the Court held that Art. no. 83-bis of the Italian Law Decree no. 112/2008 is contrary to the EU principle of free competition under Art. no. 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union, insofar as Art. 83-bis provided for the calculation of the road transport fares based on the minimal costs assessed by an entity (the Osservatorio sulle Attività di Autotrasporto) mainly composed of economic operators in the same industry.
By Law 7.7.2016 no. 122, the Italian Parliament amended art. 1 of the law on the Italian International Registry of Ships (Legislative Decree 30.12.1997 n. 457) to the effect that it is now possible to register in the third section of said registry the vessels belonging to EU owners and temporarily suspended from a EU registry as a result of a bareboat to an Italian or EU entity.
On 2 – 3 February 2017, the first edition of the conference “Shipping, Forwarding & Logistic meet Industry – Logistics and maritime cluster at service of the Italian system” will be held in Milan at Assolombarda Congress Center. Marco Lopez de Gonzalo, with a presentation on damages by transport delay, and Marco Lenti, with a presentation on the logistical issues arising out of e-commerce, will attend the conference as speakers. A summary of the event can be found here.
By the Resolution issued on 12th January 2017 (no. 2/E), the Italian Revenue Agency, in addition to the exclusion of ships involved in salvage operations and fishing boats from benefits related to the assignment and/or performance of services (art. no. 8-bis of Italian VAT Decree), held that the VAT exemption for “ocean-going ships” can apply only where the official documentation of the previous year proves that the ship performed more than 70% of her voyages on high seas (beyond 12 nautical miles). Therefore, said Resolution implies that length and tonnage requirements formerly identified by EU Court of Justice to define the “ocean-going ships” (EUCJ, Commission/France, C-197-12) are no longer sufficient to enjoy the aforesaid exemption.
By the order no. 17675 issued on 7th September 2016, the Italian Court of Cassation upheld the validity of a bill of lading exclusive jurisdiction clause in international multimodal transport too. The Court reasoned that the inclusion of an exclusive jurisdiction clause in a bill of lading covering a multimodal transport is an internationally accepted custom of the trade.
The new legal system for the recovery of civil and commercial claims, provided by EU Regulation no. 655/2014, will enter into force on 18th January 2017: before obtaining a judgement on the merits, claimants will be entitled to apply for the issuance of a European Order of conservative seizure, so as to prevent the debtor’s assets from becoming untraceable. The issuance of such Order does not require any assistance by lawyers and, once issued, it will be automatically recognized all over the European Union.
Since December 1st, 2016, Frederic FEUTSEU, Cameroonian, has been undertaking a three-months internship at Studio Legale Mordiglia, Genoa offices. Frederic has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in International and European studies achieved both at the University of Parma. He also did a Master’s degree in Maritime and Environmental Law at the Institute of Peace and Development at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (France). Frederic did an internship at the “Claim & Legal Department” of the Grimaldi Group Naples.
By replying to the inquiry filed by a shipping company, Italian Tax Office clarified that, if a bank partially waives the claim arising out of the loan for the construction of a ship subject to the tonnage tax regime, the relevant windfall gain follows the aforesaid regime and cannot be independently subject to IRES (Italian tax on companies income). In this respect, Italian Tax Office pointed out that, according to the tonnage tax provisions, revenues and/or losses arising out of the sale of a ship, which is subject to the relevant regime, are already included in the taxable income.
At the 97th Maritime Security Committee, The International Maritime Organization (IMO) examined the most significant issues arising out of the new requirements on certifications of the seafarers, introduced by the amendments (“Manila 2010”) to the STCW Convention that will come into force on 1st January 2017. In order to ensure the correct implementation of the new rules, IMO has recommended that, at least until 1st July 2017, a practical and flexible approach should be adopted by the national Port State Control Authorities in verifying the compliance of national certifications to the new rules.