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Fishing vessels

The Directive sets out minimum practical measures with a view to encouraging an improvement in the health and safety of workers on board fishing vessels.


Council Directive 93/103/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for work on board fishing vessels (thirteenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [See amending acts].


The general provisions concerning improvements in the safety and health of workers (framework Directive 89/391/EEC) are fully applicable on board fishing vessels.

Owners * must comply with certain obligations aimed at ensuring the safety and health of workers *. They must therefore ensure that the fishing vessels * can be used under conditions which do not compromise the safety and health of these workers. Occurrences at sea must be described in a report to be forwarded to the competent authorities. The owner must also ensure that regular technical maintenance is carried out and that any defects found which are likely to affect the safety and health of workers are rectified as quickly as possible. Owners must also check that the vessels are cleaned regularly, that emergency and survival equipment is in good working order, and take account of the personal protective equipment specifications given in Annex IV to this Directive.

Existing fishing vessels * must comply with the requirements of this Directive, within 9 years at the latest of its adoption. Vessels which undergo extensive conversions after the adoption of this Directive and new vessels * must comply with the requirements, within 2 years at the latest of its adoption.

Workers must be informed of measures to be taken regarding health and safety on board vessels. To this end, they must be given suitable training. More detailed training must be provided for any person likely to command a vessel. Provision must be made for the consultation and participation of workers.

Annex I deals with the minimum safety and health requirements for new fishing vessels, and Annex II with those for existing vessels. Annex III contains the minimum requirements for life-saving and survival equipment and Annex IV those for personal protective equipment. Technical adaptations of the annexes are decided by the Commission.


Directive 93/103/EC supplements Directive 89/391/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work in the fisheries sector.

Key terms used in the act
  • Owner: the registered owner or, where appropriate, the demise charterer or manager of a vessel;
  • Worker: any person carrying out an occupation on board a vessel, excluding shore personnel;
  • Fishing vessel: any vessel flying the flag of a Member State or registered under the plenary jurisdiction of a Member State used for commercial purposes for catching and/or processing fish or other resources from the sea;
  • Existing fishing vessel: any fishing vessel which is not a new fishing vessel;
  • New fishing vessel: vessel for which the building contract was signed after 23 November 2005 or, if the contract was signed before 23 November 2005, is not yet ready three years after that date, or, in the absence of a building contract, any vessel built or converted on or after that date.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 93/103/EEC



OJ L 307 of 13.12.1993

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2007/30/EC



OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Last updated: 15.01.2008
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