In response to allegations that the EU had failed to act on maritime safety, the Commission is to propose tougher maritime safety rules including a ban on 65 “floating rust buckets” from EU waters.
On Tuesday, 3 December, the European Commission is to issue a document calling for a list of 65 ships to be banned from EU waters from July 2003. The list includes 25 ships flying the Turkish flag, 11 flagged to Vincent and Grenadines and eight to Cambodia. Most of them are bulk tankers, seven are oil tankers.
The document also reveals that France, the country hit by the Erika disaster three years ago, has failed to comply with new EU obligations to inspect at least 25 percent of ships calling in ports. While most Member States reached this target last year, France did not examine more than 10 percent of ships calling in its ports.
The Commission’s document calls on the Member States to speed up the implementation of the Erika packages. It pledges to set up an EU maritime safety agency by the end of 2003.