AESBA fights to improve the international competitiveness of the port community in the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine

Several representatives of the port community meet with the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine to demand competitiveness in operations hampered by the new legislation.

AESBA-Marina Mercante

The Association of Entrepreneurs and Services of the Port of Algeciras (AESBA) has held a crucial meeting with the General Directorate of Merchant Marine, led by Gustavo Santana, Director General. The meeting was attended by prominent representatives of AESBA, including the newly appointed president, Jose Antonio Fernández, vice president II Antonio Moreno, the spokesperson for auxiliary vessels Javier Serrano, and the spokesperson for consignments Sergio De La Torre. Representing the General Directorate were Mr. Gustavo Santana, Director General, Mr. Ignacio Gallego, Subdirector, Mr. Francisco Benítez, Head of Maritime Training Area, and Mr. Luis Javier Fernández Abad, Head of Support Unit.

The dialogue focused on the challenges and concerns facing the Port of Algeciras, recognized as the most important port in Spain. Various issues were discussed in depth, including the negative impact of the 48-hour regulation on regional maritime operations. Solid evidence of intense maritime traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar was presented, and there was a detailed discussion on the urgent need to streamline Off-Port Limits (OPL) maneuvers to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the port.

During the meeting, specific proposals were presented to amend the current regulatory framework, especially regarding Article 4 of RD 210/200 (which has caused significant harm to certain operations) with the aim of ensuring effective prior notification and minimizing adverse impacts on port operations. The critical importance of addressing maritime safety in the area was emphasized, especially given the high presence of drifting vessels, which pose a significant risk to navigation and the environment.

Gustavo Santana, Director General of Merchant Marine, expressed his full commitment to the concerns raised by AESBA, assuring association members that the General Directorate is actively working to find viable solutions and maintain the competitiveness of the Port of Algeciras in the global market. Merchant Marine commits to including relevant amendments in case of updates to the Royal Decree, a measure considered essential to accelerate the implementation process and effectively address the concerns raised.

Furthermore, there was extensive discussion on the urgent need to develop and establish maritime training centers in the region to meet the growing demand for highly skilled professionals in the sector. The importance of collaboration between companies, educational institutions, and government authorities to create employment opportunities and promote sustainable growth in the maritime sector in the region was highlighted.

The meeting concluded on an optimistic note from the AESBA board of directors, who expressed confidence that appropriate solutions will be implemented soon, thanks to the demonstrated willingness of the General Directorate of Merchant Marine to address the concerns raised and promote the continuous development of the Port of Algeciras as a key logistical hub nationally and internationally.

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