French transport officials reportedly announced that the practice of chartering oil tankers under convenience flags should be outlawed after the oil spill from the sunken tanker Erika off France's west coast. Oil companies should immediately stop chartering vessels more
than 15-20 years old, ships whose past or present ownership details were unclear, or those whose seaworthiness could be questioned, officials said.
France has said it will unveil new maritime safety measures next month following the spill of fuel oil from the Erika. The European Commission has also pledged to clamp down on unsafe tankers following the Erika disaster.