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Third Maritime Safety Package

      1/3/2006

The EU Commission has adopted proposals for "Erika III" - the Third Maritime Safety Package. Seven proposals were sent to the Council and the European Parliament for discussion and comment. The proposals address a revised European port state control regime, a common approach to accident investigation, licensing of classification societies, minimum flag state rules, financial responsibility and maritime traffic and monitoring.

Particular issues addressed in the proposals are:

  • Sanctions imposed on substandard ships are to be stepped up, including extending the provision for banning for repeated detentions to all categories of ships; the proposal introduces a Community target of inspecting 100% of ships, while reducing the burden of inspections on high-quality ships.
  • The existing directive on classification societies is strengthened, including the proposed establishment of an independent quality-control system and the introduction of more gradual and proportionate financial penalties.
  • The Directive on traffic monitoring is to be amended to improve the legal framework on places of refuge for ships in distress.
  • A harmonized European framework for carrying out investigations following accidents and to make the investigating bodies more independent.
  • A provision that enhances the role of pilots in the early detection of possible defects on board ships.
  • A requirement that shipowners be obliged to take out an insurance policy or other financial security for third-party damage, which will also cover the costs of repatriating seafarers in case of abandonment.

Directorate-General for Energy and Transport; Third Maritime Safety Package  


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