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Brussels, 12th December 2006

Maritime safety: Commission takes Portugal to the Court of Justice

The European Commission today decided to lodge two cases to the Court of Justice against Portugal for failure to respect EU legislation in the field of maritime safety: a Directive on the minimum level of training of seafarers and another on port State control of shipping.

The Commission has decided to act against Portugal for failure to transpose a Directive[1] on the minimum training requirements for seafarers serving on board European ships. The Directive incorporates into Community law the latest amendments to the relevant legal instruments adopted by the International Maritime Organisation. The Member States should have adopted the national measures to comply with the Directive by 29 September 2005.

Portugal was also targeted by the Commission for incorrectly transposing a 1995 Directive[2] that was amended and reinforced following the Erika accident. The Directive is aimed at reducing substandard shipping in European waters through increased compliance with international and Community legislation on maritime safety, protection of the marine environment and living and working conditions on board. The Directive therefore establishes common criteria for control of ships by the port State and harmonises procedures on inspection and detention of substandard ships. The Portuguese measures currently in force contain several legal and technical inconsistencies.

[1] Directive 2005/23/EC of 8 March 2005 amending Directive 2001/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the minimum level of training of seafarers (OJ L 62 of 9.3.2005, p. 14).

[2] Council Directive 95/21/EC of 19 June 1995 on Port State control of shipping
(OJ L 157 of 7.7.1995, p.1), as last amended by Directive 2002/84/EC.

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