19-12-2002 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 referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty(4),
The measures implementing the existing Regulations and Directives in the
field of maritime safety were adopted by a regulatory procedure involving
the Committee set up by Council Directive 93/75/EEC of 13 September 1993
concerning minimum requirements for vessels bound for or leaving Community
ports and carrying dangerous or polluting goods(5) and, in certain cases, an
ad hoc committee. These committees were governed by the rules set out in
Council Decision 87/373/EEC of 13 July 1987 laying down the procedures for
the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(6).
By its Resolution of 8 June
1993 on a common policy on safe seas(7), the Council approved in principle
the establishment of a Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships (COSS) and called on the Commission to present a
proposal to set up such a committee.
The role of COSS is to
centralise the tasks of the committees set up under the Community
legislation on maritime safety, the prevention of pollution from ships and
the protection of shipboard living and working conditions and to assist and
advise the Commission on all matters of maritime safety and prevention or
reduction of pollution of the environment by shipping activities.
In keeping with the
Resolution of 8 June 1993, a Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships should be set up and assigned the tasks previously
devolved to the committees established under the aforesaid legislation. All
new Community legislation adopted in the field of maritime safety should
stipulate recourse to the Committee thereby set up.
Decision 87/373/EEC has
been replaced by Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down
the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the
Commission(8), the provisions of which should therefore be applied to COSS.
The purpose of the latter decision is to define the Committee procedures
applicable and ensure more comprehensive information to the European
Parliament and the public on the work of the committees.
The measures required to
implement the aforesaid legislation should be adopted in accordance with
Decision 1999/468/EC. (7)
aforesaid legislation should also be amended to substitute COSS for the
Committee set up by Directive 93/75/EEC or, where appropriate, for the ad
hoc committee established under any particular act. This Regulation should
in particular amend the relevant provisions of Council Regulations (EEC) No
613/91 of 4 March 1991 on the transfer of ships from one register to another
within the Community(9), (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(10), (EC) No
3051/95 of 8 December 1995 on the safety management of roll-on/roll-off
passenger ferries (ro-ro ferries)(11) and Regulation (EC) No 417/2002 of the
European Parliament and of the Council of 18 February 2002 on the
accelerated phasing-in of double hull or equivalent design requirements for
single hull oil tankers and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No
2978/94(12), in order to insert a reference to COSS and to stipulate the
regulatory procedure laid down in Article 5 of Decision 1999/468/EC.
Moreover, the aforesaid
legislation is based on the application of rules resulting from
international instruments in force at the date of adoption of the Community
act in question, or at the date specified by the latter. As a consequence,
Member States cannot apply the subsequent amendments to these international
instruments until the Community Directives or Regulations have been amended.
This has major disadvantages owing to the difficulty of ensuring that the
date of entry into force of the amendment at international level coincides
with that of the Regulation integrating this amendment into Community law,
not least the delayed application within the Community of the most recent
and most stringent international safety standards.
However, it is necessary to
draw a distinction between the provisions of a Community act making
reference, for the purposes of their application, to an international
instrument and Community provisions reproducing an international instrument
in full or in part. In the latter case, the most recent amendments to the
international instruments cannot in any case be rendered applicable until
the Community provisions concerned have been amended.
Member States should
therefore be permitted to apply the most recent provisions of international
instruments, with the exception of those explicitly incorporated in a
Community act. This can be done by stating that the international convention
applicable for the purposes of the Directive or Regulation concerned is that
"in its up-to-date version", without mentioning the date.
For reasons of
transparency, the relevant amendments to international instruments that are
integrated in Community maritime legislation should be made public in the
Community through their publication in the Official Journal of the European
conformity checking procedure should, however, be set up to enable the
Commission, after consulting COSS, to take whatever measures may be
necessary to exclude the risk of amendments to the international instruments
being incompatible with the aforesaid legislation or Community policy on
maritime safety, the prevention of pollution from ships and the protection
of shipboard living and working conditions in force or with the objectives
pursued by that legislation. Such a procedure should also prevent
international amendments from lowering the standard of maritime safety
achieved in the Community. (13)
conformity checking procedure will only be fully effective if the planned
measures are adopted as speedily as possible, but at all events before the
expiry of the deadline for the entry into force of the international
amendment. Consequently, the time available to the Council to act on the
proposed measures in accordance with Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC
should be one month,
(1) OJ C 365 E, 19.12.2000, p. 276.
(2) OJ C 139, 11.5.2001, p. 21.
(3) OJ C 253, 12.9.2001, p. 1.
(4) Opinion of the European Parliament of 13
February 2001 (OJ C 276, 1.10.2001, p. 42), Council Common Position of
27 May 2002 (OJ C 170 E, 16.7.2002, p. 37) and Decision of the European
Parliament of 24 September 2002 (not yet published in the Official
(5) OJ L 247, 5.10.1993, p. 19.
Directive as last amended by Directive 98/74/EC (OJ L 276, 13.10.1998,
(6) OJ L 197, 18.7.1987, p. 33.
(7) OJ C 271, 7.10.1993, p. 1.
(8) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(9) OJ L 68, 15.3.1991, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 319, 12.12.1994, p. 1.
(11) OJ L 320, 30.12.1995, p. 14. Regulation as
amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 179/98 (OJ L 19, 24.1.1998, p.
(12) OJ L 64, 7.3.2002, p. 1.