EU Seeks to Improve Passenger Safety on Ships

Friday, April 05, 2002
The Commission has proposed a new package of measures to reinforce passenger safety on ships. Two proposals aim at preventing accidents such as the Express Samina’s in 2000 by increasing stability requirements for vessels and by reinforcing safety rules to cater for passengers with reduced mobility in general, and high-speed ships in particular. The Commission also presents its view on how passenger protection should be strengthened through stricter liability rules when accidents do occur. These new proposals already announced in the Commission’s new White Paper on Transport, complement a series of rules adopted in the late 1990’s following the Esotonia accident. The new safety package for passenger ships proposed by the Commission consists of three parts: Increased ship stability requirements, which aims to improve the capacity of a passenger ship to stay afloat after a serious incident, the commission proposes harmonized stability requirements for all RoRo passenger vessels operating on international voyages to or from European Union ports. Strengthened and simplified safety rules for passenger ships. The Commission proposes to amend the existing Directive on safety rules for passenger ships to include new safety requirements for high-speed ships and for passengers with reduced mobility. Better protection of passengers in case of accident. In a communication adopted, the Commission presents its views on how the liability of damage caused to passengers will be improved. The Commission calls for compulsory insurance for carriers and strict liability.

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