Cruise ships in Tallin. Photo by Pjotr Mahhonin/ Wikipedia
The European Commission welcomes the final adoption by the Council of the EU of three legal texts that simplify and improve passenger ship safety.
The adopted package ensures that the rules are clear, proportionate and deliver a common level of safety for EU citizens. For example, once fully implemented by Member States, all competent authorities will have immediate access to passenger data in case of emergency and all passenger ships longer than 24 meters made of steel and aluminium will be built according to common European safety standards.
EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The adoption of these new safety rules is an important deliverable in our EU maritime year. At times when citizens expect the European Union to protect them, we are sending a clear message: your safety is our priority. I applaud the constructive approach of the co-legislators that allowed reaching an agreement still in 2017.”
The adopted package is a result of proposals made by the European Commission in June 2016, as a follow-up to the recommendations of the fitness check driven by the Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) Programme. The update responds to lessons learnt, including from accidents, and technological developments. The new rules will provide for easier compliance for operators and better monitoring and enforcement for national competent authorities as well as the European Commission, assisted by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The European Parliament had given its approval on 4 October.
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