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Brussels, 25 July 2003

ERIKA I maritime safety legislation enters into force: Commission takes action against 10 Member States

The Erika I legislation finally entered into force on July 22 more than 3 years after these stricter maritime safety rules were proposed by the Commission. «We could have avoided the PRESTIGE oil spill, had these key measures been into force earlier as the Commission initially proposed » declared Loyola de Palacio, Vice-President in charge of transport and energy. “These rules now need to be fully adopted and implemented. The Commission, as guardian of the EU treaties, will do its utmost to make sure that another Prestige disaster does not endanger EU waters and shores ». The Commission has decided to initiate legal proceedings against 10 Member States for failing to notify transposition of this key EU maritime safety legislation. Both the ship inspection and survey organisation1 and Port State Control2 rules adopted in the aftermath of the ERIKA disaster should have been transposed into national law by 22 July 2003. To date only Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and the UK have done so. Failure to implement these rules can directly affect the quality and safety of the ships sailing in European waters, of European ships globally as well as the removal of unsound vessels from the seas. The Commission also publishes today the list of vessels which may be banned from EU ports should they be detained again after July 2003.

The Commission has initiated the infringement procedure against Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden for failing to communicate national measures implementing two key maritime safety Directives. Belgium and Ireland have so far only transposed the Port State control Directive and the Netherlands, the ship inspection and survey organisation Directive (see table in Annex 2).

Notification of transposition however does not mean that the transposition is complete and satisfactory. In 2002, for example, the Commission has brought France and Ireland in front of the Court of Justice3 for example, for not observing the annual threshold of 25% of ships inspected by the port State as provided for by the Port State Control Directive. The Commission is empowered to pursue the Member States for failure to notify, to adequately transpose or to implement the Directive. The legal action launched may ultimately lead the Court of Justice to impose fines on Member States should they consistently fail to implement these maritime safety rules.

These maritime safety rules, proposed in the aftermath of the Erika disaster and adopted on 19 December 2001, came into force on 22 January 2002. Member States had until 22 July 2003 to implement the Directives by adopting the necessary laws, regulations or administrative provisions. Member States are obliged to notify the Commission of their transposition into national legislation immediately after their enactment.

These two Directives tighten the safety checks and controls of ships undertaken by classification societies on behalf of EU flag states4 and those carried out by states whose ports are visited by the ships5 .Their objective is to make the inspection regimes of potentially dangerous ships more rigorous. In view of the human, environmental and economic risks involved, the Commission urges Member States to rapidly proceed to the implementation of these rules, as they are legally required to.

The Commission for its part is publishing today, in accordance with the port state Control Directive, the list of vessels which may be banned from EU ports should they be detained one more time after 22 July 2003. This list groups ships whose State flag is considered as very high risk or high risk or appears in the black list in the last annual report of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding as well as ships which have been detained once or twice in the last years. (See list in Annex 3).


    Erika I.

The Erika package forms the first part of a collection of measures proposed by the Commission, which for the most part have already been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

    Erika II.

It was first followed by the Commission proposals in December 2000 of the Erika II package which aimed:

  • At the creation of the European Maritime Safety Agency, since operational. This centre of expertise, unique at the European level, should enable better application of the maritime safety rules.

  • The establishing of a monitoring and community information system, proposed by a Directive which will enter into force on 4 February 2004. This will permit a closer surveillance of ships in the coastal zones of the Union especially of “at risk” vessels. It will also lead to the creation of places of refuge on the coasts as havens for ships in distress.

The Erika II package also contained a proposal to create a European indemnity fund in favour of the victims of oil spills. This Commission proposal has been taken up at the international level with the decision last May to create a supplementary fund which will raise the indemnity ceiling beyond that of the FIPOL fund, currently € 200 million, up to € one billion.

New proposals following the Prestige accident.

Following the Prestige accident, further new proposals have been tabled by the Commission:

  • A Regulation to prohibit the transport of heavy fuel oil by single-hulled tankers, which in case of sinking, cause the greatest damage. It also further shortens the timetable for the withdrawal of single-hulled tankers established in the Erika I package. No single-hulled tanker will be allowed to enter an EU port after 2010 in place of 2015, and the most severe criteria are introduced to the eliminate the ships posing the greatest risk in even shorter deadlines; for example, tankers similar to Erika or to the Prestige will be forbidden entry as of the entry into force of the regulation. Agreement having already been made on this text, its final adoption by the Parliament and Council in the next few weeks should enable it to enter into force in September 2003.

  • A proposal for a Regulation, made in March 2003 and awaiting adoption, aims to install a regime of penal sanctions whereby, in the event of illegal emptying of hydrocarbons or of major pollution, all persons found culpable, wherever they may be in the chain of responsibility, will face criminal responsibility for their acts.

On the environmental front, the Directive on port reception facilities for shipboard waste and cargo residues6 entered into force at the end of 2000. These new rules should lead to a massive reduction in marine pollution coming from maritime transport. Meanwhile, more than two years after the entry into force of the Directive, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Austria and the Netherlands have still not informed the Commission of their national transposition measures. After having once sent these Member States letters of formal notice to conform to European legislation, the Commission decided on 13 May 2003 to pursue the infringement against these countries which had originally until 28 December 2002 to apply the European rules.

Finally, at the international level, apart from the advances on indemnisation, it has also been decided to modify the applicable rules of the MARPOL Convention in order to integrate in it, from April 2005, the Community requirements following the Prestige accident regarding transport of heavy oils and the elimination of single hull tankers. Between September 2003, the date of entry into force of the EU Regulation, and April 2005, the strictest rules compatible with the minimum standards laid down under international law will be imposed at the European level

The Commission meanwhile proposed, in April 2002, the adhesion of the EU to the International Maritime Organisation, to reinforce the European contribution to the development of international policy on maritime safety.

For more information please read the memo published today at :

Annex I.

Overview of EU maritime safety legislation

ERIKA-I (proposals by the Commission in March 2000)

  • Directive strengthening port State inspections in the EU
Entry into force:

22 July 2003

Directive strengthening the monitoring of the activities of classification societies

Entry into force :

22 July 2003

Regulation proposing an accelerated timetable for the withdrawal of single-hulled tankers

Entry into force:

27 March 2002

ERIKA-II (proposals by the Commission in December 2000)

  • Directive concerning the establishing of a monitoring and Community information system and aimed at improving the surveillance of traffic in European waters
Entry into force:

5 February 2004

Regulation aimed at establishing a complementary European fund for the indemnity of victims of oil spills (the COPE Fund), amounting to € 1 billion Not adopted

Nb international action

Regulation creating a European Maritime Safety Agency

Entry into force:

24 August 2002

Measures proposed after the PRESTIGE accident

  • Proposal for a Regulation of 20 December 2002 on the prohibition of transport of heavy oils in single-hulled tankers, aimed at shortening the timetable for withdrawing single-hulled tankers adopted in the ERIKA-I package

Final adoption by the Council and European Parliament under way

Entry into force foreseen for September 2003

Proposal for a Directive of 5 March 2003 establishing a regime of penal sanctions in cases of culpable pollution (including tank cleaning)Under examination by the Council and European Parliament

International action in the IMO

  • Adoption in May 2003 of a Protocol to the FIPOL fund based on the COPE fund proposed by the Commission (ERIKA-II)

  • Modification under way of the Marpol Convention aimed at integrating Community requirements concerning the transport of heavy oils and the elimination of single-hulled tankers (PRESTIGE)

  • Recommendation by the Commission of 9 April 2002 aimed at the adhesion of the EU to the IMO

Annex 2.

Member States' transposition as at 22 July 2003

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Annex 3.

List of 112 vessels which may be banned from EU ports should they be detained one more time after 22 July 2003 (list as at 7 July)

Name of vessel

IMO NumberType of vesselAgeDeten-tionsFlag (*)
AIN TEMOUCHENT8110447Bulkcarrier211Algeria (Very high risk)
AIN OUSSERA8220321Bulkcarrier201Algeria (Very high risk)
NEDROMA7708182Bulkcarrier251Algeria (Very high risk)
BLIDA7705635Bulkcarrier251Algeria (Very high risk)
SERSOU8103822Bulkcarrier211Algeria (Very high risk)
AMIRA9142887Oil Tanker71Algeria (Very high risk)
EL DJAZAIR7116080Ro-Ro Passenger321Algeria (Very high risk)
HOGGAR7046821Ro-Ro Passenger321Algeria (Very high risk)
ZERALDA7043570Ro-Ro Passenger321Algeria (Very high risk)
GABRIELLE6500296Ro-Ro Passenger384Bolivia (Very high risk)
ALKYON6510253Ro-Ro Passenger382Bolivia (Very high risk)
EUROPA I5405542Ro-Ro Passenger411Bolivia (Very high risk)
TRINITY7614965Bulkcarrier262Cambodia (Very high risk)
LEGEND 17223132Bulkcarrier311Cambodia (Very high risk)
RONGA7223144Bulkcarrier311Cambodia (Very high risk)
HANDY OCEAN7533056Bulkcarrier261Cambodia (Very high risk)
MED BULKER I7433323Bulkcarrier251Cambodia (Very high risk)
LAILA QUEEN7525865Bulkcarrier261Cambodia (Very high risk)
MED GENERAL IV7108681Bulkcarrier311Cambodia (Very high risk)
AL KHALED7405481Bulkcarrier281Cambodia (Very high risk)
BANAM6404442Bulkcarrier401Cambodia (Very high risk)
BELIZE CITY7630141Bulkcarrier271Cambodia (Very high risk)
BELMOPAN7361568Bulkcarrier271Cambodia (Very high risk)
FORT GEORGE7630139Bulkcarrier281Cambodia (Very high risk)
NICOLO ELISA7341934Bulkcarrier281Cambodia (Very high risk)
STAR 7392880Bulkcarrier281Cambodia (Very high risk)
PURSAT5410860Bulkcarrier401Cambodia (Very high risk)
IULIANA T7358092Bulkcarrier291Georgia (Very high risk)
MELTEM G7009988Bulkcarrier331Georgia (Very high risk)
ARCHON7012480Oil Tanker331Honduras (Very high risk)
BLUE SEA7526534Bulkcarrier271Korean Democratic Rep. (Very high risk)
ALEXANDER K7703584Bulkcarrier251Lebanon (Very high risk)
ANGELA7713395Bulkcarrier251Lebanon (Very high risk)
FRINA7392660Bulkcarrier302Romania (Very high risk)
VALERIA7512090Bulkcarrier272Romania (Very high risk)
ALEXANDRU C7614147Bulkcarrier281Romania (Very high risk)
SABINA7806893Bulkcarrier251Romania (Very high risk)
TALIA S7806908Bulkcarrier251Romania (Very high risk)
TIGRA7734674Bulkcarrier261Romania (Very high risk)
AHMAD-S8116972Bulkcarrier211Syrian Arab Republic (Very high risk)
SAMALI S7501871Bulkcarrier271Syrian Arab Republic (Very high risk)
MAI-S7501807Bulkcarrier271Syrian Arab Republic (Very high risk)
STARI GRAD6704397Oil Tanker362Tonga (Very high risk)


8943533Oil Tanker431Tonga (Very high risk)
SALIH C7314589Bulkcarrier303Turkey (Very high risk)
BERRAK N7632541Bulkcarrier252Turkey (Very high risk)
GULLUK8009557Bulkcarrier232Turkey (Very high risk)
ODIN BEY7916727Bulkcarrier242Turkey (Very high risk)
GOKHAN KIRAN7433696Bulkcarrier182Turkey (Very high risk)
HEREKE 47404633Bulkcarrier272Turkey (Very high risk)
HILAL I7405819Bulkcarrier262Turkey (Very high risk)
SAPANCA7416777Bulkcarrier282Turkey (Very high risk)
GOLDEN S7000243Chemical Tanker332Turkey (Very high risk)
ALEMDAR 18836983Oil Tanker132Turkey (Very high risk)
BOLU7389833Bulkcarrier201Turkey (Very high risk)
BURDUR7389845Bulkcarrier211Turkey (Very high risk)
ERKAN METE7527461Bulkcarrier271Turkey (Very high risk)
HAKKI DEVAL7433347Bulkcarrier241Turkey (Very high risk)
KIRAN PACIFIC7713149Bulkcarrier171Turkey (Very high risk)
MANYAS 17533094Bulkcarrier271Turkey (Very high risk)
GULSER ANA8418289Bulkcarrier181Turkey (Very high risk)
KAPTAN NEVZAT KACAR8325896Bulkcarrier191Turkey (Very high risk)
OSMAN METE7380485Bulkcarrier281Turkey (Very high risk)
TAHIR KIRAN7433713Bulkcarrier161Turkey (Very high risk)
BARBAROS KIRAN7433684Bulkcarrier181Turkey (Very high risk)
BOLKAR8014382Bulkcarrier221Turkey (Very high risk)
C FILYOS8811792Bulkcarrier131Turkey (Very high risk)
HACI RESIT KALKAVAN7640316Bulkcarrier251Turkey (Very high risk)
MUZEYYEN ANA8109034Bulkcarrier181Turkey (Very high risk)
SOHRET7227009Bulkcarrier311Turkey (Very high risk)
SOLI7600079Bulkcarrier261Turkey (Very high risk)
ZEYNEP ANA7531242Bulkcarrier261Turkey (Very high risk)
ESIN S7024354Chemical Tanker331Turkey (Very high risk)
METIN KA7383592Chemical Tanker301Turkey (Very high risk)
HABAS8208426Gas Carrier191Turkey (Very high risk)
EMRE BENER7401514Oil Tanker271Turkey (Very high risk)
KAPTAN VEYSEL7721847Oil Tanker251Turkey (Very high risk)
VELI ALEMDAR7326166Oil Tanker291Turkey (Very high risk)
ANKARA7615672Ro-Ro Passenger221Turkey (Very high risk)
KAPTAN BURHANETTIN ISIM8818300Ro-Ro Passenger131Turkey (Very high risk)
ARRAZI7925704Chemical Tanker211Morocco (High risk)
AL WAHDA9044073Oil Tanker111Morocco (High risk)
HECTOR7531448Bulkcarrier252St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
MAPLE7427142Chemical Tanker282St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
JOHANNA KATHRINA7368293Chemical Tanker292St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
J SAFE8118803Bulkcarrier211St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
KORO7029421Bulkcarrier331St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
NESTOR C7739985Bulkcarrier241St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
FIVOS7625720Bulkcarrier251St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
LEPETANE8126367Bulkcarrier291St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
SEA BRIGHT7641073Bulkcarrier261St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
TITAN8117146Bulkcarrier201St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
RHONE7361685Chemical Tanker311St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
TAVIRA7716115Oil Tanker251St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
PALOMA I7625794Ro-Ro Passenger231St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
SUPERFERRY7210305Ro-Ro Passenger311St. Vincent & Grenadines (High risk)
BULK DIAMOND8822818Bulkcarrier172Cyprus (Medium risk)


7720714Bulkcarrier252Cyprus (Medium risk)
BASKA7361556Bulkcarrier282Malta (Medium risk)
TIARELLA7526170Bulkcarrier272Malta (Medium risk)
ISMINI7624398Bulkcarrier242Malta (Medium risk)
GRAIN TRADER7636781Bulkcarrier242Malta (Medium risk)
TALYA I6809678Ro-Ro Passenger353Panama (Medium risk)
IRENE VE7514244Bulkcarrier252Panama (Medium risk)
AGIOS DIMITRIOS7409097Bulkcarrier282Panama (Medium risk)
FENIX7624415Bulkcarrier242Panama (Medium risk)
OCEAN SURF80006270Bulkcarrier222Panama (Medium risk)
PANDORA P8100870Bulkcarrier202Panama (Medium risk)
RODIN7334046Bulkcarrier342Panama (Medium risk)
PERGAMOS7396496Chemical Tanker282Panama (Medium risk)
TATRY7365954Chemical Tanker282Panama (Medium risk)
OLYMPIC PRIDE8009131Oil Tanker212Panama (Medium risk)

(*) Flags included in the Black List published by Paris MOU in Annual Report 2002

    1 Directive 2001/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 2001 amending Council Directive 94/57/EC on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations. Official Journal L 019 , 22.1.2002 p.9-16

    2 Directive 2001/106/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 2001 amending Council Directive 95/21/EC concerning the enforcement, in respect of shipping using Community ports and sailing in the waters under the jurisdiction of the Member States, of international standards for ship safety, pollution prevention and shipboard living and working conditions (port State control). Official Journal L 019, 22.1.2002 p.17-31

    3 See IP/02/931

    4 idem footnote 1

    5 idem footnote 2

    6 Directive 2000/59/EC of 27 November 2000

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