01-09-2002 THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE
COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
Community, and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and
Having regard to the opinion of
the Committee of the Regions(3),
Acting in accordance
with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4),
Within the framework of the common transport policy, further measures must
be taken to enhance safety and prevent pollution in maritime transport.
The Community is seriously
concerned by the shipping accidents involving oil tankers and the associated
pollution of its coast-lines and harm to its fauna and flora and other
marine resources. (3)
communication "a common policy on safe seas", the Commission underlined the
request of the extraordinary Council on Environment and Transport of 25
January 1993 to support the action in the International Maritime
Organisation (IMO) on the reduction of the safety gap between new and
existing ships by upgrading and/or phasing out existing ships.
In its Resolution on a
common policy on safe seas(5), the European Parliament welcomed the
Commission communication and called in particular for action to be taken to
improve tanker safety standards.
By its Resolution of 8 June
1993 on a common policy on safe seas(6), the Council fully supported the
objectives of the Commission communication.
In its Resolution on the
oil slick off the French coast adopted on 20 January 2000, the European
Parliament welcomed any efforts by the Commission to bring forward the date
by which oil tankers will be obliged to have a double-hull construction.
The International Maritime
Organisation (IMO) has established, in the International Convention for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 and the Protocol of 1978 related
thereto (MARPOL 73/78), internationally agreed pollution prevention rules
affecting the design and operation of oil tankers. Member States are Parties
to MARPOL 73/78. (8)
Article 3.3 of MARPOL 73/78, that Convention does not apply to warships,
naval auxiliary or other ships owned or operated by a State and used only
for government non-commercial services.
Comparison of tanker age
and accident statistics shows increasing accident rates for older ships. It
has been internationally agreed that the adoption of the 1992 amendments to
MARPOL 73/78 requiring the application of the double hull or equivalent
design standards to existing single hull oil tankers when they reach a
certain age will provide those tankers with a higher degree of protection
against accidental oil pollution in the event of collision or stranding.
It is in the Community's
interest to adopt measures to ensure that oil tankers entering into ports
and offshore terminals under the jurisdiction of Member States and that oil
tankers flying the flags of Member States comply with Regulation 13G of
Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 as revised in 2001 by Resolution MEPC 95(46) in
order to reduce the risk of accidental oil pollution in European waters.
Amendments to the MARPOL
73/78 Convention adopted by the IMO on 6 March 1992 entered into force on 6
July 1993. These measures impose double hull or equivalent design
requirements for oil tankers delivered on or after 6 July 1996 aimed at
preventing oil pollution in the event of collision or stranding. Within
these amendments, a phasing-out scheme for single hull oil tankers delivered
before that date took effect from 6 July 1995 requiring tankers delivered
before 1 June 1982 to comply with the double hull or equivalent design
standards not later than 25 years and, in some cases, 30 years after the
date of their delivery. Such existing single hull oil tankers would not be
allowed to operate beyond 2007 and, in some cases, 2012 unless they comply
with the double hull or equivalent design requirements of Regulation 13F of
Annex I of MARPOL 73/78. For existing single hull oil tankers delivered
after 1 June 1982 or those delivered before 1 June 1982 and which are
converted, complying with the requirements of MARPOL 73/78 on segregated
ballast tanks and their protective location, this deadline will be reached
at the latest in 2026. (12)
important amendments to Regulation 13G of Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 were
adopted on 27 April 2001 by the 46th session of the IMO Marine Environment
Protection Committee (MEPC-46) by Resolution MEPC 95(46), entering into
force on 1 September 2002, in which a new accelerated phasing-out scheme for
single hull oil tankers was introduced. The respective final dates by which
tankers must comply with Regulation 13F of Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 depend on
the size and age of the ship. Oil tankers are therefore in that scheme
divided into three categories according to their tonnage, construction and
age. All these categories, including the lowest one (3), are important for
intra-Community trade. (13)
final date by which a single hull oil tanker is to be phased out is the
anniversary of the date of delivery of the ship, according to a schedule
starting in 2003 until 2007 for Category (1) oil tankers, and until 2015 for
Category (2) and (3) oil tankers.
The revised Regulation 13G
of Annex I of MARPOL 73/78 maintains the requirements for Category (1)
tankers, after 25 years, to have wingtanks or double bottoms in protective
locations not used for the carriage of cargo or to operate only with
hydrostatically balanced loading.
That same Regulation
introduces a requirement that Category (1) and (2) oil tankers may only
continue to operate after the anniversary of the date of their delivery in
2005 and 2010 respectively subject to compliance with a Condition Assessment
Scheme (CAS), adopted on 27 April 2001 by IMO in Resolution MEPC 94(46). The
CAS imposes an obligation that the flag State administration issues a
Statement of Compliance and is involved in the CAS survey procedures.
Paragraph 5 of the said
Regulation allows for an exception for Category (2) and (3) oil tankers to
operate, under certain circumstances, beyond the time-limit of their
phasing-out. Paragraph 8b of the same Regulation gives the right for Parties
to the MARPOL 73/78 Convention to deny entry into the ports or offshore
terminals under their jurisdiction of oil tankers allowed to operate under
this exception. Member States have declared their intention to use the
right. Decision to have recourse to this right has to be communicated to the
It is important to ensure
that the provisions in this Regulation do not endanger the safety of crew or
oil tankers in search of a safe haven or a place of refuge.
In order to allow
shipyards in Member States to repair single hull oil tankers, Member States
may make exceptions to allow entry into their ports of such vessels,
provided they are not carrying any cargo.
It should be possible to
amend certain provisions of this Regulation so as to bring them into line
with international instruments adopted, amended or entering into force after
the entry into force of this Regulation without broadening its scope. Such
amendments should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC
of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing
powers conferred on the Commission(7).
In view of the approaching
deadline for single hull oil tankers which do not comply with the
requirements of MARPOL 73/78 on segregated ballast tanks and their
protective location, and given that this is most relevant for Category (1)
tankers, there are no reasons to maintain the differential charging system
for which Regulation (EC) No 2978/94(8) provides between such oil tankers
and oil tankers that comply with the said requirements beyond 2007, and
therefore Regulation (EC) No 2978/94 should be repealed,
(1) OJ C 212 E, 25.7.2000, p. 121 and
154 E, 29.5.2001, p. 41.
(2) OJ C 14, 16.1.2001,
(3) OJ C 22, 24.1.2001, p. 19.
(4) Opinion of the European Parliament of 30
November 2000 (OJ C 228, 13.8.2001, p. 140), Council Common Position of
7 August 2001 (OJ C 307, 31.10.2001, p. 41) and Decision of the European
Parliament of 13 December 2001.
(5) OJ C 91,
28.3.1994, p. 301.
(6) OJ C 271, 7.10.1993, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(8) Council Regulation (EC) No 2978/94 of 21
November 1994 on the implementation of IMO Resolution A.747(18) on the
application of tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated
ballast oil tankers (OJ L 319, 12.12.1994, p. 1).