EU Commission on Maritime Safety has published a list of banned ships as part of the legislation adopted in the wake of the "Erika" and "Prestige" disasters to combat oil spills and rust-bucket ships. Nineteen ships were banned from EU ports between November 1, 2003 and August 31, 2004, flying the flags of eight different States: St Vincent and the Grenadines (6), Bolivia (3), Panama (3), Turkey (3), Belize (1), Cyprus (1), Romania (1) and Syrian Arab Republic (1). Most of the ships listed are bulk carriers (12 out of the nineteen), but there are also four ro-ro passenger ships, two chemical tankers, and one oil tanker.
Publication of this information is required under the new European rules on port state control to ensure transparency and to deter those who already fall short of the relevant maritime safety standards. The ban on entering EU ports was imposed on these ships, because they were detained several times and were flying a flag included in the black list published as part of the annual report of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. Under the European port state control directive adopted in July 2003, the Commission is now required to publish every six months, the list of ships, which have been refused access to EU ports. In addition, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) publishes an up-to-date list of ships on its website that includes the port state control historical data on the banned ships.