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Brussels, 5th June 2008

Maritime safety: European Commission acts against Finland

The European Commission today sent a reasoned opinion to Finland for failure to transpose adequately into national law and to implement legislation on port state control. Port state control is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports to verify that the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international regulations and that the ship is manned and operated in compliance with these rules. The action taken by the Commission today is the last step before bringing Finland to the European Court of Justice.

The Commission has decided to act against Finland for failure to fully transpose and implement a 1995 Directive[1], which was subsequently amended following, among others, the Erika accident. The Directive aims to reduce substandard shipping in Community waters by promoting compliance with international and European legislation on maritime safety, establishing common criteria for control of ships by the port state and harmonizing procedures on inspection and detention.

Finland has so far failed to fully transpose and apply one of the Directive's rules requiring effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions against all those violating the national provisions transposing the Directive.

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

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