The President of the European Parliament
, Hans-Gert Pöttering, officially signed a European Parliament and Council Regulation that represents an important response to offshore tanker accidents and will lead to better protection of the seas and the environment.
Under the new regulation, oil tankers transporting heavy oils will only be allowed to fly the flag of a European Union member
state if they are double hulled. In addition, regardless of what flag they are flying, only double hulled tankers will be able to enter member states’ harbors or anchor in their territorial waters.
The regulation is directly applicable in all the Member States and, now that it has been signed, will enter into force on the twentieth day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.