End in sight for single hull tankers in EU waters

On 30 April, the EP’s Transport Committee approved its report on the phase-out of single hull tankers. To ensure a quick entry into force of the new rules, it did not adopt any amendments that might be subject to controversy between the institutions.

To avoid a second reading, the Transport Committee refrained from tabling substantive amendments. It agreed with the bulk of the Commission's proposals (seeEURACTIV 31 March 2003), and merely called for another category of vessel to be phased out more quickly. According to the amendment, smaller tankers that are often operating in regional traffic would have to be phased out by 2010 instead of 2015.

Controversial issues such as the disposal of single hull vessels, the definition of heavy oil, the need for places of refuge and the legality of unilateral EU action are not addressed in the report. However, the Committee insisted that the Commission be given a clearly defined mandate to negotiate the new rules at international level at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The report will be voted in plenary during the 2-5 June session in Strasbourg. The new rules are likely to enter into force on 1 August 2003.


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