Improved stability requirements for ro-ro passenger ships

EESC opinion: Improved stability requirements for ro-ro passenger ships

Key points

  • The EESC welcomes the proposal to amend the current rules on the safety of ro-ro passenger ships in damaged condition. It strongly advocates maintaining the highest possible safety standards in maritime transport. This is particularly important for the type of craft in question, which, due to their specific characteristics, are more vulnerable than other types of vessels.
  • The EESC would like to stress that the examination of this proposal is extremely difficult due to the complicated and unclear drafting of the text. The provisions and clarifications thus designed actually run counter to the objective of the proposal, which is to facilitate the use and application of the aforementioned legal provisions. It is recommended that its transparency be increased, including through a graphical presentation of the targeted solutions with appropriate explanations.
  • The EESC is concerned about the temporary alternative solutions adopted in the proposal for newly built ships certified to carry 1 350 persons or fewer, and about the suggestion that these two options be evaluated ten years after the implementation of the amendment, as well as the announced revision of the Directive after the evaluation.
  • In the EESC's view, the introduction of such temporary solutions will create a situation of uncertainty and further problems in the future. It should be stressed that fleet investments in this transport sector are of a long-term nature. The outlook set out in the proposal should therefore take into account the realities of the sector.