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Friday, April 20, 2018

EU STATUS REPORT OCTOBER 2001: FOCUS ON ERIKA FOLLOW-UP

Most of the post-Erika proposals have moved considerably closer to final decision since the New Year. All three Erika I issues (a proposal on the phase-out of single hull tankers and revised EU directives on port state control and on licensing of classification societies) might be finally adopted in the relatively near future, possibly at the Council meeting on 6/7 December.

The second set of proposals, Erika II, was tabled on 6 December 2000 consisting of one directive on the “establishment of a Community monitoring, control and information system for maritime traffic”, and two regulations on the ”establishment of a fund for compensation of oil pollution in European waters and related measures” (which has become known as “the COPE proposal”) and “establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency” (“EMSA”).

Like the Erika I proposals, the Erika II proposals are subject to a so-called co-decision procedure, which means that both the European Parliament and the EU Member States (the “Council”) have to deal with them in two rounds. In both these fora discussions centred on the issues of the “weather ban” and of compulsory retrofitting of VDRs.

It now seems clear that the future EU rules will include a possibility (rather than an obligation) for ports to interfere when a vessel is likely to threaten human life or to pose a severe threat of pollution by leaving under particularly bad weather conditions. On the issue of VDRs, the Council agreed to adopt a common approach to IMO and this is also likely to gain the necessary support from the European Parliament in order to be finally adopted by transport ministers towards the end of the year.

Both the Council and the Parliament have welcomed in principle the Commission’s proposal for a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The most politically contested issue over the last six months has no doubt been the proposal for a “COPE fund”, a third tier of compensation to victims of oil pollution.

Please click here for the full status October report by INTERTANKO’s Brussels Consultants ADS Insight Ltd.

Contact: Kristian R. Fuglesang kristian.fuglesang@intertanko.com