EC takes five EU states to court over bulk shipping safety
The European Commission has decided to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Justice against Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland for failure to respect European Union maritime legislation on safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers.
Following an agreement at the EU level to establish harmonized requirements and procedures for the safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers under directive 2001/96/EC of the European Parliament, member states had to adopt the necessary legislation at the national level before Aug. 5, 2003.
The directive established “harmonized suitability requirements for ships and terminals and improved cooperation and communication procedures between bulk carriers and terminals,” the EC said. The aim of the legislation is to enhance the safety of bulk carriers calling at EU terminals by reducing the risks of excessive stresses and physical damage to the ship’s structure during loading and unloading.