EC takes further step in infringement process against nine Member States

On 7 July 2004, the European Commission sent reasoned opinions to Belgium, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and the United Kingdom for non-notification of the transposition measures they should have taken in order to implement the EU Directive on vessel traffic monitoring and information systems. The deadline for implementing the Directive was 5 February 2004. A few days after this deadline, the Commission sent to 12 Member States a formal notice letter (see Weekly NEWS No. 9 of 27 Feb 2004).

The Member States concerned had two months in which to adopt the necessary measures, and only Portugal, Sweden and Ireland communicated their national measures. Reasoned opinions are the last step before a formal complaint is lodged with the Court of Justice. The Member States have now two months in which to react before the Commission assesses the situation again.

The Directive on vessel traffic monitoring and information systems creates obligations to Member States to carry on board a voyage data recorder (“black box”), to draw up plans for places of refuge, and to set up a tele-network for the exchange of information on vessels and dangerous cargoes

In parallel, the Commission has decided to take five Member States to the Court of Justice for non-compliance with the 2001 Directive on safe loading and unloading of bulk carriers. The Commission also sent reasoned opinions to eight Member States for failure to respect EU legislation on safety rules and standards for passenger ships.

Click here to download a copy of the Commission’s press release.

Contact: Kristian R. Fuglesang