France Wants Tighter Rules For Ships Near Europe

Friday, February 11, 2000
France plans to press for tougher maritime safety rules within a 200-mile radius of Europe, said Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot, adding that he would like the European Union to force ships to identify themselves and be ready for inspection inside the limit. Currently, ships only have to make themselves known if there is an accident. He also argued that flags of convenience should be banned. "This term leads to cutting corners," he said. Gayssot said this does not mean countries would not be allowed to run large fleets, but they would be held to tighter rules to prevent "profit based on economic and social dumping." France also plans to double the number of its port inspectors to 100 over the next two years and improve its database of ships calling at French ports.
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