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Friday, September 21, 2018


The European Commission published a White Paper on Environmental Liability in February 2000. The Commission is considering the possibility of holding another public consultation on a draft proposal for a Directive over the summer period. The Commission expects the adoption of a proposal for a Directive on Environment Liability in the autumn of 2001.

The purpose of the White Paper was to provide a basis for public debate – like the Green Paper – but with the more concrete intention of drafting legislation. The principal objectives of the future legislation are: (1) prevention of environmental damage; (2) implementation of the polluter pays principle; (3) decontamination and restoration of damaged sites; (4) strengthening the implementation of Community environmental legislation; and (5) reducing distortions in the internal market.

These objectives are expected to be achieved through the working of a framework directive, which is a directive that sets out the principles to be applied when drafting future sector specific directives. The principles of the framework directive are that the regime will not apply retroactively to damage caused in the past. It will apply the strict liability principle, meaning that fault need not be established, only that the act caused damage. Further it should be coherent with existing EU and international legislation.

INTERTANKO, like a number of other interested parties, commented on the White Paper in summer 2000. Please click here to view the various comments.

In its comments, INTERTANKO emphasised that any proposed Directive must take into consideration the already existing regime for oil pollution compensation and liability.

Please click here for a status report on this White Paper