THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
Community, and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic
and Social Committee ,
After consulting the
Committee of the Regions,
Acting in accordance with
the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty ,
The establishment and functioning of the internal market involve the
elimination of technical barriers to the transfer of cargo and passenger
ships between the registers of Member States. Measures to facilitate the
transfer of cargo and passenger ships within the Community are also required
to reduce the costs and administrative procedures involved in a change of
register within the Community, thereby improving the operating conditions
and the competitive position of Community shipping.
(2) It is necessary, at the
same time, to safeguard a high level of ship safety and environmental
protection, in compliance with International Conventions.
(3) The requirements set out in
the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of life at Sea (1974
SOLAS), the 1966 International Convention on Load Lines (LL 1966) and the
1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, as
amended by the 1978 Protocol (MARPOL 73/78) provide for a high level of ship
safety and environmental protection. The International Convention on Tonnage
Measurement of Ships, 1969 provides for a uniform system for the measurement
of the tonnage of merchant ships.
(4) The international regime
applicable to passenger ships has been strengthened and refined through the
adoption of a considerable number of amendments to 1974 SOLAS by the
International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and an increased convergence of
the interpretations of the 1974 SOLAS rules and standards.
(5) The transfer of cargo and
passenger ships flying the flag of a Member State between the registers of
Member States should not be impeded by technical barriers, provided that the
ships have been certified as complying with the provisions of relevant
international Conventions by Member States or, on their behalf, by the
organisations recognised under Council Directive 94/57/EC of 22 November
1994, on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey
organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations
(6) A Member State receiving a
ship should however remain able to apply rules which differ in scope and
nature from those referred to in the Conventions listed in Article 2(a).
(7) In order to ensure a prompt
and informed decision by the Member State of the receiving register, the
Member State of the losing register should provide it with all relevant
available information on the ship's condition and equipment. The Member
State of the receiving register should, nevertheless, be able to subject the
ship to an inspection to confirm its condition and equipment.
(8) Ships which have been
refused access to Member States' ports under Council Directive 95/21/EC of
19 June 1995, concerning the enforcement, in respect of shipping using
Community ports and sailing in the waters under the jurisdiction of the
Member States, of international standards for ship safety, pollution
prevention and shipboard living and working conditions (port State control)
 or which have been detained more than once following an inspection in
the port during the three years preceding the application for registration
should not be able to benefit from the possibility of being transferred
under the simplified system to another register within the Community.
(9) Relevant International
Conventions leave important points of interpretation of the requirements to
the discretion of the Parties. On the basis of their own interpretation,
Member States issue to all ships flying their flags, that are subject to the
provisions of relevant International Conventions, certificates certifying
their compliance with these provisions. Member States enforce national
technical regulations, some provisions of which contain requirements other
than those in the Conventions and in associated technical standards. An
appropriate procedure should therefore be established in order to reconcile
divergences in the interpretation of existing requirements which may occur
upon a request for transfer of register.
(10) In order to enable the
implementation of this Regulation to be monitored, Member States should
provide the Commission with succinct yearly reports. In the first yearly
report Member States should identify any measures taken to facilitate the
implementation of this Regulation.
(11) The provisions of Council
Regulation (EEC) No 613/91 of 4 March 1991 on the transfer of ships from one
register to another within the Community , are significantly reinforced
and extended by this Regulation. Regulation (EEC) No 613/91 should therefore
(12) The measures
necessary for the implementation of this Regulation 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
 OJ C 80, 30.3.2004, p. 88.
 Opinion of the European Parliament of 13
January 2004 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and Decision of
the Council of 6 April 2004.
 OJ L 319, 12.12.1994, p. 20. Directive as
last amended by Directive 2002/84/EC of the European Parliament and of
the Council (OJ L 324, 29.11.2002, p. 53).
 OJ L 157, 7.7.1995, p. 1. Directive as
last amended by Directive 2002/84/EC.
 OJ L 68, 15.3.1991, p. 1. Regulation as
amended by Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 of the European Parliament and
of the Council (OJ L 324, 29.11.2002, p. 1).
 OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
Article 01 Purpose
The purpose of this Regulation is to eliminate technical
barriers to the transfer of cargo and passenger ships flying the flag of a
Member State between the registers of the Member States while, at the same
time, ensuring a high level of ship safety and environmental protection, in
accordance with International Conventions.
Article 02 Definitions
For the purposes of this Regulation:
"Conventions" means the 1974 International Convention
for the Safety of Life at Sea (1974 SOLAS), the 1966 International
Convention on Load Lines (LL 66), the 1969 International Convention on
Tonnage Measurement of Ships, and the 1973 International Convention for the
Prevention of Pollution from Ships, as amended by the 1978 Protocol relating
thereto (MARPOL 73/78), in their up-to-date versions, and related codes of
mandatory status adopted in the framework of the International Maritime
Organisation (IMO), together with Protocols and amendments thereto in their
"Requirements" means the safety,
security and pollution-prevention requirements relating to the construction
and equipment of ships laid down in the Conventions and, for passenger ships
engaged on domestic voyages, those set out in Council Directive 98/18/EC of
17 March 1998 on safety rules and standards for passenger ships ;
"Certificates" means certificates, documents and
statements of compliance issued by a Member State or by a recognised
organisation on its behalf in accordance with the Conventions, and for
passenger ships engaged on domestic voyages, those issued in accordance with
Article 11 of Directive 98/18/EC;
means a ship carrying more than twelve passengers;
(i) the master and the members
of the crew or other persons employed or engaged in any capacity on board a
ship on the business of that ship; and
(ii) a child under one year of
"Domestic voyage" means a voyage in sea areas
from a port of a Member State to the same or another port within that Member
"International voyage" means a voyage by sea
from a port of a Member State to a port outside that Member State, or
"Cargo ship" means a ship which is not a
"Recognised organisation" means an
organisation recognised in accordance with Article 4 of Directive 94/57/EC.
 OJ L 144, 15.5.1998, p. 1. Directive as last amended
by Commission Directive 2003/75/EC (OJ L 190, 30.7.2003, p.
Article 03 Scope
1. This Regulation shall apply to:
(i) were built on or after 25
May 1980, or
(ii) were built before
that date, but have been certified by a Member State or by a recognised
organisation acting on its behalf as complying with the regulations for new
ships defined in 1974 SOLAS, or, in the case of chemical tankers and gas
carriers, with the relevant Standard codes for ships built on or after 25
(i) were built on or
after 1 July 1998, or
- in Directive 98/18/EC, for
ships engaged on domestic voyages,
- in 1974 SOLAS,
for ships engaged on international voyages.
2. This Regulation shall not
(a) ships following
delivery after completion of their construction that do not carry valid
full-term certificates from the Member State of the losing register;
(b) ships that have been
refused access to Member States' ports in accordance with Directive 95/21/EC
during the three years preceding application for registration and to ships
that have been detained following inspection in the port of a State
signatory of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding of 1982 on Port State
Control and for reasons relating to the requirements defined in Article
2(b), more than once during the three years preceding application for
registration. Member States shall nevertheless give due and timely
consideration to applications in respect of such ships;
(c) ships of war or troopships,
or other ships owned or operated by a Member State and used only on
government non-commercial service;
(d) ships not propelled by
mechanical means, wooden ships of primitive build, pleasure yachts not
engaged in trade or a fishing vessel;
(e) cargo ships of less than
500 gross tonnage.
Article 04 Transfer of register
1. A Member State shall not withhold
from registration, for technical reasons arising from the Conventions, a
ship registered in another Member State which complies with the requirements
and carries valid certificates and equipment approved or type-approved in
accordance with Council Directive 96/98/EC of 20 December 1996 on marine
In order to fulfil their obligations
under regional environmental instruments ratified before 1 January 1992,
Member States may impose additional rules in accordance with the optional
Annexes to the Conventions.
Article shall apply without prejudice, where applicable, to any specific
requirements laid down for the operation of a ship under Article 7 of
Directive 98/18/EC and Article 6 of Directive 2003/25/EC of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 14 April 2003 on specific stability
requirements for ro-ro passenger ships .
3. Upon receiving the request
for transfer, the Member State of the losing register shall provide the
Member State of the receiving register, or make available to the recognised
organisation acting on its behalf, all relevant information on the ship, in
particular, on her condition and equipment. This information shall contain
the history file of the vessel and, if applicable, a list of the
improvements required by the losing register for registering the ship or
renewing her certificates and of overdue surveys. The information shall
include all the certificates and particulars of the ship as required by the
Conventions and relevant Community instruments as well as Flag State
inspection and Port State control records. The Member States shall cooperate
to ensure proper implementation of this paragraph.
4. Before registering a ship,
the Member State of the receiving register, or the recognised organisation
acting on its behalf, may subject the ship to an inspection to confirm that
the actual condition of the ship and her equipment correspond to the
certificates referred to in Article 3. The inspection shall be performed
within a reasonable time frame.
If, following the inspection and having given the ship owner a reasonable
opportunity to rectify any deficiencies, the Member State of the receiving
register, or the recognised organisation acting on its behalf, is unable to
confirm correspondence with the certificates, it shall notify the Commission
in accordance with Article 6(1).
 OJ L 46, 17.2.1997, p. 25. Directive as last amended by
 OJ L 123, 17.5.2003, p. 22 .
Article 05 Certificates
1. Upon the transfer and without
prejudice to Directive 94/57/EC, the Member State of the receiving register,
or the recognised organisation acting on its behalf, shall issue
certificates to the ship under the same conditions as those under the flag
of the Member State of the losing register, provided the reasons or the
grounds on the basis of which the Member State of the losing register
imposed any condition or granted any exemption or waiver continue to apply.
2. At the time of renewal,
extension or revision of the certificates, the Member State of the receiving
register, or the recognised organisation acting on its behalf, shall not
impose requirements other than those initially prescribed for the full-term
certificates insofar as requirements for existing ships and conditions
Article 06 Refusal of transfer and interpretation
1. The Member State of the receiving
register shall immediately notify the Commission of any refusal to issue, or
to authorise the issuing of, new certificates to a ship for reasons based on
divergences of interpretation of the requirements or of the provisions which
the Conventions or relevant Community instruments leave to the discretion of
Unless the Commission is informed of an
agreement between the Member States concerned within one month, it shall
initiate proceedings in order to take a decision in accordance with the
procedure referred to in Article 7(2).
2. Where a Member State
considers that a ship cannot be registered under Article 4 for reasons
relating to serious danger to safety, security or to the environment, other
than those referred to in paragraph 1, registration may be suspended.
The Member State shall immediately bring the matter to
the attention of the Commission, stating the reasons for the suspension of
the registration. The decision not to register the ship shall be confirmed
or not in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 7(2).
3. The Commission may consult
the Committee referred to in Article 7 on any matter related to the
interpretation and implementation of this Regulation, in particular in order
to ensure that standards of safety, security and environmental protection
are not reduced.
Article 07 Committee procedure
1. The Commission shall be assisted by
the Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS)
set up by Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 of the European
Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 establishing a Committee on
Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) and amending the
Regulations on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships
reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Council Decision
1999/468/EC shall apply having regard to the provisions of Article 8
The period laid down in Article 5(6) of
Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at two months.
3. The Committee shall adopt
its Rules of Procedure.
 OJ L 324, 29.11.2002, p. 1.
Article 08 Reporting
1. Member States shall transmit to the
Commission a succinct yearly report on the implementation of this
Regulation. The report shall provide statistical data on the transfer of
ships carried out in accordance with this Regulation and list any
difficulties encountered in its implementation.
2. By 20 May 2008 the
Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council
on the implementation of this Regulation, based in part on the reports
submitted by the Member States. In this report, the Commission shall assess,
inter alia, whether it is appropriate to amend the Regulation.
Article 09 Amendments
1. The definitions in Article 2 may be
amended in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 7(2) in
order to take account of developments at international level, in particular,
in the IMO and to improve the effectiveness of this Regulation in the light
of experience and of technical progress, insofar as such amendments do not
broaden the scope of this Regulation.
2. Any amendment to the
Conventions may be excluded from the scope of this Regulation, pursuant to
Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002.
Article 10 Repeal
Regulation (EEC) No 613/91 is hereby repealed.
Article 11 Entry into force
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth
day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the
This Regulation shall be binding in
its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
Done at Strasbourg, 21 April 2004.
For the European Parliament
For the Council