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Brussels, 8 October 2009

Maritime safety and port state control: Commission requires proper implementation of European rules

The European Commission decided today to lodge a case against Italy with the European Court of Justice for its failure to adequately implement EU legislation on port state control of shipping.

The Commission decided to act against Italy for the incorrect implementation of a Directive 1 adopted in 1995, whose provisions were strengthened in the wake of the Erika accident. The Directive aims at reducing substandard shipping in Community waters by promoting compliance with international and Community legislation on maritime safety, by establishing common criteria for control of ships by the port state and by harmonizing procedures on inspection and detention.

Commission action was launched on the basis of the findings by the European Maritime Safety Agency during an inspection visit in Italy. This visit is part of a monitoring programme by the Commission designed to assess how the Directive is implemented in practice in each Member State.

In the case of Italy, irregularities concern failure by Italian authorities to charge full re-inspection costs of detained ships to ship-owners and operators or their representatives.

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. Directive 2009/16/EC (OJ L 131, 28.5.200ç, p. 57) operates a recast of Directive 95/21/EC, which will be repealed with effect from 1 January 2011.

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