EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS MARITIME SAFETY PACKAGE
The European Parliament and the European Council have definitively agreed on a first package of measures aimed at improving maritime safety.
The so-called “Erika I” package includes three sets of measures:
* Stepping up controls in ports.
* A greater control of the activities of classification societies.
* Elimination of single-hull tankers.
The maritime safety rules have been discussed since the high-profile sinking of the tanker “Erika” off the Atlantic coast of France in December 1999.
“Europe has reacted promptly — less than two years after the Erika’s disaster, we have now new laws for a lot better maritime safety,” said Loyola de Palacio, vice president in charge of transport and energy at the European Commission.
The EC has urged European Union governments to quickly implement the maritime safety measures, including by anticipating the deadlines.
The EC said the current port state controls “so far have proved to be inadequate.”
Ships that have been laid up on more than one occasion due to poor condition and fly flags of convenience will now “be banned and refused entry into EU ports by virtue of a blacklist published by the commission,” it said.