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European Commission - Press release

Maritime safety: Commission requests Italy to comply with new safety rules for passenger ships

Brussels, 24 November 2011 - The European Commission has today asked Italy to adopt national legislation implementing the new European safety rules and standards for passenger ships. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. If Italy fails to inform the Commission within two months of the measures it has taken to ensure full compliance with EU law, the Commission could refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

The EU rules

In 2010 the EU adopted a new directive ( 1 ) pertaining to safety rules and standards for passenger ships. The primary aim of this directive was to provide an up-to-date European legislative framework which would take into account the latest measures agreed upon in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). These include, among many other technical requirements, a ban on materials containing asbestos, the obligation to install emergency lighting to allow passengers to exit safely and the requirement to provide adequate life jackets for larger individuals.

The reason for today's action

Italy has failed to notify the Commission of the measures taken to enforce the new Directive on safety rules and standards for passenger ships although required to do so by 29 June 2011.

The practical effect of non-implementation

The objective of the EU directive is to guarantee that the safety requirements for ships engaged in domestic voyages take into account the appropriate safety regulations laid down by the IMO for ships engaged in international voyages. The failure of Italy to transpose the directive undermines the EU's attempt to harmonize maritime safety regulations and keep them reflecting the highest standards.

More information on infringement procedures:


Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

1 :

Directive 2010/36/EU:

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