New Maritime Safety Rules Agreed
 
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New Maritime Safety Rules Agreed

      10/11/2000

New Maritime Safety Rules Agreed

EU transport ministers agreed tough new measures on maritime safety, including a crackdown on single hull oil tankers and more stringent inspections of older ships. The measures were presented to the International Maritime Organisation. They follow growing concerns about safety following the sinking of the Erika oil tanker in December last year. The EU scheme, which calls for the scrapping of single hull tankers more than 23 years old from 2003, is likely to be opposed by the shipping industry, which argues that reducing the world's already depleted tanker fleet could increase oil prices.

According to industry estimates about 30 per cent of the world's tanker fleet is now 20 years old. The International Chamber of Shipping has estimated that the proposal could mean eliminating 2,500 ships worth about $16bn.
France, which wanted earlier dates for the phasing out of single hull ships, have compromised with Greece, which favours later dates, notably for smaller tankers under 20,000 tonnes. The compromise sets dates up to January 2015 at the latest for single hulls to be replaced by double hulls for tanker and chemical product carriers. EU member states also agreed on stronger port inspections for ships, which are older and have previously failed inspections.


Financial Times (FT.com) by Dan Bilefsky in Brussels, October 2, 2000  


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