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Maritime safety: Committee on Safe Seas

This regulations aims to improve the implementation of the Community legislation on maritime safety, prevention of pollution and shipboard living and working conditions.


Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 establishing a Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) and amending the Regulations on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships [Official Journal L 324 of 29.11.2002].



The Community policy on maritime safety is relatively recent. The founding text was the Commission's 1993 communication "A common policy on safe seas", which proposed that an ambitious policy be introduced at Community level to improve the safety of ships, their crews and their passengers and to prevent marine pollution more effectively.

The current situation requires a single committee to deal with maritime safety issues, providing the consistency required for the implementation of Community measures in this area.


The Regulation has two main objectives:

  • to simplify procedures by replacing the various committees set up by the Community legislation on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships with a single committee, the Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS);
  • to accelerate and simplify the incorporation of international rules into the Community legislation by allowing amendments to the international rules to apply directly or semi-automatically.

The Regulation is designed not only to replace the five existing committees by the Committee on Safe Seas, but also to replace the regulatory procedure applicable to the existing regulations and directives, based on Decision 87/373/EEC. The new regulatory procedure is based on Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission.

A conformity checking procedure has been established to ensure that the Committee on Safe Seas can examine any amendments to a convention or resolution adopted at international level which would have the effect of lowering Community standards. Further provision has been made for the possibility of calling an emergency meeting of the Committee at the initiative of the Commission or at the request of a Member State to examine the amendments involved and to issue an opinion on appropriate Community measures. As a precaution, the Commission can also, where appropriate, ask Member States to suspend or delay any plans to accept or apply the international amendment concerned.

The Committee on Safe Seas exercises the powers already conferred on it by virtue of the Community legislation in force. There is also the possibility of amending the Regulation to include in the list of regulations and directives concerned any new Community acts that enter into force following its adoption.

The Regulation also provides for amending the existing regulations in the field of maritime safety, both to take account of the creation of the Committee on Safe Seas and to facilitate their subsequent updating in the light of developments in international legislation on maritime safety. These regulations are:


of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Regulation 2099/200225.11.200225.11.2002
Last updated: 19.07.2006
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