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Safety of passenger ships – Costa Concordia accident and Commission review of safety legislation

Siim Kallas

Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for Transport, has asked that the currently ongoing review of EU passenger ship safety legislation take fully into account any lessons to be learnt from the Costa Concordia tragedy. The review will prioritise, in particular, the issues of: design and stability of passenger ships, technological developments in the sector, crew training and safe operation, including emergency evacuation procedures. Vice-President Kallas will outline the Commission's position to the European Parliament's Transport Committee on Tuesday 24 January 2012.

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Background

Golden Princess

Accession of the European Union to the Protocol of 2002 to the Athens Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974

The 2002 Protocol to the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, represents a major improvement to the regime relating to the liability of carriers and the compensation of passengers carried by sea. In particular, it provides for a strict liability for the carrier and includes compulsory insurance with a right of direct action against insurers up to specified limits. In addition to these provisions related to transport matters, it contains rules on jurisdiction and on the recognition and enforcement of judgments, related to judicial cooperation matters.

The substantive provisions of this Protocol have been incorporated into the European law by Regulation (EC) n 392/2009 of 23 April 2009 on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents. The provisions of the Protocol related to judicial cooperation are covered by Council Regulation (EC) n 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

By two decisions adopted on 12 December 2011 ( published in the Official Journal of 12 January 2012) after consent of the European Parliament , the Council has approved the accession of the European Union to this Protocol. It is the first time that the Union becomes party to an international Convention adopted under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation. It is now the responsibility of the Member States to take also the necessary steps to accede to the Protocol in order to allow its entry into force.

 As the result of two decisions adopted on 12 December 2011 ( published in the Official Journal of 12 January 2012) and after the consent of the European Parliament , the Council has approved the accession of the European Union to this Protocol. It marks the first time that the Union becomes party to an international Convention adopted under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation. In turn, it is now the responsibility of the Member States to take the necessary steps to accede to the Protocol in order to ensure its entry into force.

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