Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)
Kosmas, Vasileios and Michele Acciaro (2017): Bunker levy schemes for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction in international shipping, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 57: 195-206.
Abstract: A fuel levy is one of the market-based measures (MBMs) currently under consideration at the International Maritime Organization. MBMs have been proposed to improve the energy efficiency of the shipping sector and reduce its emissions. This paper analyses the economic and environmental implications of two types of levy on shipping bunker fuels by means of an analytical model built on the cobweb theorem. A unit-tax per ton of fuel and an ad-valorem tax, enforced as a percentage of fuel prices, are examined. In both cases, a speed and fuel-consumption reduction equivalent to an improvement in the energy efficiency of the sector would be expected as a result of the regulation enforcement. The speed reduction in the unit-tax case depends on fuel prices and the tax amount, whereas in the ad-valorem case it relies upon the enforced tax percentage.Both schemes lead to industry profit decline, the extent of which depend on the structure of the levy and market conditions. Since there is concern that the costs resulting from the policy will be passed from shipping companies to their customers along the supply chain, the paper dwells on how the costs arising from the enforcement of the levy will be actually allocated between ship-owners and operators, and cargo-owners. In a market characterised by high freight rates and with no or limited excess capacity, a higher percentage of the total tax amount is transferred from ship-owners to shippers. In case of a recession the opposite happens.