Mobility and Transport


Public consultations

Public consultations

Public consultation on the evaluation of Regulation 392/2009 on the Liability of Carriers of Passengers by Sea in the Event of Accidents
Consultation period: 

Public consultation on the evaluation of Regulation 392/2009 on the Liability of Carriers of Passengers by Sea in the Event of Accidents

Consultation period: 29/07/2016 - 31/10/2016

Published results (anonymised)

PDF iconSummary


Consultation period

This consultation will last for 13 weeks. Questionnaires should be returned by 31 October 2016 at the very latest.

Target group

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

The consultation can be of particular interest to passengers travelling by sea, owners and operators of passenger ships, insurers providing cover to passenger ships, maritime administrations of flag States or port States concerned with passenger carriage by sea, as well as any other organisations or persons interested in passenger carriage by sea.

Background information

This Open Public Consultation has been launched to collect input on the EU legal act known as the 'Passenger Liability Regulation' ('PLR').

The Passenger Liability Regulation:

  • Establishes liability without need to prove fault for passenger carriers in case of an accident at sea related to the ship's operation ('shipping incident'  as defined in the Regulation);
  • Raises the limits for compensation of passengers following accidents, including the possibility for an advance payment to cover immediate needs following death or personal injury of passengers;
  • Obliges passenger carriers to have insurance ; and
  • Allows passengers to claim compensation directly from the carrier's insurer

A 'shipping incident' means shipwreck, capsizing, collision or stranding of the ship, explosion or fire in the ship, or defect in the ship. A 'defect in the ship' means any malfunction, failure or non-compliance with applicable safety regulations in respect of any part of the ship or its equipment when used for the escape, evacuation, embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, or when used for the propulsion, steering, safe navigation, mooring, anchoring, arriving at or leaving berth or anchorage, or damage control after flooding; or when used for the launching of life saving appliances.

Compulsory insurance under the Regulation, and the Athens Convention means: "any carrier who actually performs the whole or part of the carriage shall maintain insurance or other financial security, such as the guarantee of a bank or similar financial institution, to cover liability under this Convention [and the Regulation] in respect of the death of and personal injury to passengers".

The Passenger Liability Regulation is in fact based on the International Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974, as amended by the Protocol of 2002, the relevant provisions of which are reproduced in Annex I of the Regulation for ease of reference. The Passenger Liability Regulation has added some elements to the ones established in the Athens Convention, which correspond to the level of protection afforded to passengers in other modes of transport, such as rail and aviation.

The Objectives of the Passenger Liability Regulation are:

  • To ensure that passenger rights are protected in the event of accidents, both in international (between two or more States) and in domestic carriage (within a single State);
  • To create a level playing field for operators promoting best practices and responsible behaviour;
  • To incentivise increased safety and security performance of passenger transport operators;
  • To assist in setting up and complementing a balanced framework of passenger rights protection also regarding the right to information, special compensation for reduced mobility passengers and the right to an advance payment.

The European Commission has initiated the ex-post evaluation of the Passenger Liability Regulation. The evaluation will provide the Commission with an evidence-based assessment of the application of the Regulation in the first three years since it became applicable, 2013-2015. This evaluation shall also support the Commission's impact assessment that is required  in order to examine the possibility of amending the Passenger Liability Regulation, notably to cover all types of domestic carriage of passengers by sea and to consider an adjustment of the relevant liability limits for some carriers operating only domestically.

The Passenger Liability Regulation covers all international carriage, as well as domestic carriage on board ships of Classes A and B, as defined in Article 4 of Directive 2009/45/EC on safety rules and standards for passenger ships. 'Classes A and B' include passenger ships engaged on voyages of more than 5 nautical miles from the coastline.

Objectives of the consultation

This open public consultation is part of the evaluation process launched by the European Commission on the liability of carriers of passengers and the relevant compensation schemes, in case of accidents at sea. In the framework of the present evaluation, a public consultation will ensure that all stakeholders, as well as any interested citizen, have the opportunity to provide their views on the implementation and continued policy relevance of the maritime carrier’s liability and compensation regime. The consultation also aims to gather factual information on what works well and what should be improved.

The scope of the public consultation will broadly cover the following elements of the Passenger Liability Regulation:

  • Relevance to the identified original objectives of the Regulation, as these are set out in the Roadmap to this evaluation , taking into account the form of intervention;
  • EU added value compared to what could have been achieved in the absence of an EU intervention (i.e. by Member States at the national and/or regional level);
  • Effectiveness of the rights and obligations and compensation schemes;
  • Efficiency in relation to the costs incurred and benefits achieved and/or expected;
  • Coherence both internally and with other EU policy interventions.

Inputs from this written consultation will be taken into account by the European Commission when preparing the report to the European Parliament and the Council on the ex-post evaluation, at the end of 2016.

In addition to the public consultation, a more targeted and in-depth survey questionnaire was launched in May 2016, addressed at a closed number of stakeholders identified as having a direct interest in the Passenger Liability Regulation. That said, the open public consultation is very important to open up the discussion on this Regulation to everyone that is potentially affected by its application, notably as all EU citizens can be passengers carried by sea on one of the ships where this Regulation applies.

It is possible for participants to this open public consultation to also fill in the targeted survey questionnaire , if interested in providing more specialised input to this ex-post evaluation.

Structure of the questionnaire

The questionnaire consists of the following sections:

  • Section A: General information about the respondent
  • Section B: Specific questions on the application of the EU passenger carrier's liability regime - including:
    • Sub-Section B.1: Questions for passengers/individuals
    • Sub-Section B.2: Questions for shipowners/ship operators
    • Sub-Section B.3: Questions for insurers
    • Sub-Section B.4: Questions for EU/EEA States
    • Sub-Section B.5: General comments/objectives
  • Section C: Final Remarks

Sub-Sections B.1-B.4 contain questions of particular relevance to the different categories of stakeholders indicated in the sub-headings, but can also be answered by any interested party participating in this public consultation, who can provide relevant input.

Sub-Section B.5 contains a very important part of the questionnaire as it asks participants for their general assessment of the Regulation.

In Section C 'Final Remarks' consultation participants may also upload any documents they wish to provide in addition to / in support of their responses to the questionnaire.

Using the questionnaire

Contributions may be submitted in any EU language.

You can skip questions that you do not feel comfortable responding to. However, replies to questions marked with an asterisk are compulsory. You can also pause at any time and continue later. Once you have submitted your answers, you will be able to download a copy of your completed questionnaire.

This questionnaire takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

The system uses session "cookies" in order to ensure reliable communication between the client and the server. Therefore, your browser must be configured to accept "cookies". The cookies disappear once the session has been terminated.

The system uses local storage to save copies of your input to a survey, in order to have a backup if the server is not available during submission, or your computer is switched off accidentally, or any other cause. The local storage contains the IDs of the questions and the draft answers. Once you successfully submitted the survey to the server, or you have successfully saved a draft on the server, the data is removed from local storage. There is a checkbox above the survey "Save a backup on your local computer (disable if you are using a public/shared computer)" to disable the feature. In that case, no data will be stored on your computer.

See also: Help page for participants

Transparency and confidentiality

Please note that contributions received from this survey, together with the identity of the contributor, will be published on the European Commission's website, unless the contributor objects to publication of the personal data on the grounds that such publication would harm his or her legitimate interests. In this case, the contribution may be published in anonymous form.

Explanations about the protection of personal data

The policy on "protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions" is based on Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000.

Important notice

As part of the European Transparency Initiative, organisations are invited to use the Register of interest representatives to provide the European Commission and the public at large with information about their objectives, funding and structures.

If you are not registered yet in this register, please visit:


Please note that this document has been drafted for information and consultation purposes only. It has not been adopted or in any way approved by the European Commission and should not be regarded as representative of the views of Commission staff. It does not in any way prejudge, or constitute the announcement of, any position on the part of the Commission on the issues covered. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.

See also

Ex-post Evaluation of Regulation (EC) No 392/2009 on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents