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European Commission - Press release

Maritime Safety: Commission requests Italy to comply with new standards for equipment placed on board ships

Brussels, 31 May 2012 - The European Commission has today asked Italy to adopt national legislation implementing the latest marine equipment standards, as introduced by EU law. 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

The marine equipment directive aims at reaching a uniform application of international standards on marine equipment in the EU and facilitating free movement of marine equipment within the internal market. It applies to items such as lifesaving appliances, fire protection or radio communication equipment on board European ships, guaranteeing a high level of quality and safety. In 2010, the Commission updated the existing rules on marine equipment1.

The reason for the action

Italy has failed to notify the Commission of the measures taken to enforce the revised marine equipment rules. These amendments should have been fully transposed by 10 December 2011.

The practical effect of non-transposition

The marine equipment directive is updated on a regular basis to ensure that equipment on board European ships complies with the most up to date requirements. The lack of timely transposition undermines the uniform implementation of these new safety rules within the internal market, with impact on maritime safety.

Europe has a strong marine equipment manufacturing industry and is a net exporter to the world. The European marine industry is a high value added sector and employs directly more than 287,000 people in around 5500 companies. Together with Germany, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and France, Italy is one of the key European players for marine equipment production.

More information on infringement procedures: MEMO/12/387

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

1 :

Directive 2010/68/EU amending Council Directive 96/98 on marine equipment.

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