New EU proposals target safety and pollution in shipping Ship’s crew

The European Commission has presented a number of Five legislative proposals The aim is to modernize maritime safety regulations and prevent pollution from ships.

As maritime transport accounts for 75% of the EU’s external trade, the proposals aim to ensure safe navigation while protecting the environment.

The proposals focus on providing the EU with new tools to support clean and modern shipping. The aim is to align EU rules with international regulations, promote cooperation between member states and improve implementation and enforcement through digitalisation. The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) will play a key role in implementing the new requirements and supporting Member States in enforcing the rules.

Three of the proposals focus on modernizing maritime safety rules. These include clear requirements for flag state inspections, an extension of port state control to additional international regulations, and an extension of port state control and accident investigation to fishing vessels. The proposals also support the digitization of control processes by flag and port states and the promotion of electronic certificates.

The remaining proposals aim to tackle ship pollution and prevent illegal discharges into European waters. They align EU rules with international regulations, expand the scope of covered pollutants, streamline EMSA’s monitoring and information-sharing database (CleanSeaNet), and create a strengthened legal framework for penalties and their application.

The proposals also update EMSA’s mandate to reflect its growing role in various areas of maritime transport, including safety, pollution prevention, climate change mitigation, security, surveillance, crisis management and digitalisation.

The next step for the proposals is their scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure.

“Our high safety standards in maritime transport have prevented serious accidents in recent years. However, we must not be complacent. We must keep up with the new challenges and make the best use of the latest technologies,” said Adina Vélean, Commissioner for Transport. “Today’s package of proposals reflects the latest global developments, ensures that Member States are properly equipped to carry out inspections, draws on EMSA’s expertise and promotes digitization as a means of increasing efficiency and information-sharing between administrations. “

These proposals are in line with the EU’s commitment to sustainable and smart mobility, as set out in the EU Green Deal, the Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy and the Zero Pollution Action Plan. They are part of the EU’s efforts to move towards zero emissions, pollution and accidents in the shipping sector. This includes the extension of the EU emissions trading system to maritime transport and the adoption of the FuelEU maritime transport regulation.

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