EU pushes for stricter international rules on tankers

Under pressure from the EU, the International Maritime Organisation will meet on 4-5 December to discuss changes to worldwide rules on tankers.

In October 2003, the EU ban on single-hull tankers carrying heavy fuel oil came into force. The EU is now pushing for such rules to be adopted worldwide so as to avoid new maritime disasters such as the Prestige or Erika incidents. It aims to have a timetable agreed for the withdrawal of single-hull tankers at international level as well as a reinforcement of security controls on single-hull tankers. On 4-5 December, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will meet for an extraordinary session to discuss this issue.

If the EU fails to further its quest for global legislation through the IMO, it will continue bilateral talks with its neighbours, mainly nearby Mediterranean countries and Russia.

Intertanko, the International association of independent tanker owners, has expressed its concern that current international rules may now be subject to major revision without a compelling reason for change. They argue that the shipping industry and its investors require a degree of predictability and stability in the regulatory environment.

 

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