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Brussels, 28th November 2007

Penalties for pollution by ships: Commission sends reasoned opinions to eight Member States

The European Commission has decided today to send reasoned opinions to Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and the United Kingdom for failure to adopt national legislation on penalties against those responsible for polluting discharges at sea.

The Commission has decided to act against the eight Member States while they had not fully transposed into national law a Directive[1] adopted in 2005. The Directive aims at improving maritime safety and enhancing the protection of the marine environment from pollution by ships. It implements international standards for ship-source pollution into Community law, defines ship-source discharges of polluting substances at sea as infringements when committed with intent, recklessness or serious negligence and calls for adequate penalties to be imposed to all persons responsible for such discharges.

Commission action today is the last step before bringing Member States to the European Court of Justice. The Directive should have been fully transposed into national law by 1 April 2007.

[1] Directive 2005/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements (OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 11).

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