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Brussels, 19 December 2005

Passenger ships safety: European Commission summons Belgium and UK to implement the rules

The Commission sent reasoned opinions – the last step before lodging a case to the Court of Justice – to Belgium and the United Kingdom for failure to fully transpose into national law EU legislation on ro-ro passenger ships. The Commission will not tolerate Member States’ delay in fully implementing rules related to people’s safety when they travel by ship.

The purpose of the two Directives[1] adopted in 2003 is to introduce improved stability requirements to ro-ro passenger ships and, in relation to ships engaged in intra-EU voyages, safety requirements for persons with reduced mobility, thus generally increasing passenger safety in EU waters.

The Directives should have been transposed into national law by 17 November 2004. Belgium has not transposed Directive 2003/24/EC yet, while the United Kingdom has not transposed both directives in relation to Gibraltar.

[1] Directive 2003/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 April 2003 amending Council Directive 98/18/EC on safety rules and standards for passenger ships (OJ L 123, 17.5.2003, p. 18) and Directive 2003/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 April 2003 on specific stability requirements for ro-ro passenger ships (OJ L 123, 17.5.2003, p. 22)

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