Revision of the Directive on Ship-Source Pollution

EESC opinion: Revision of the Directive on Ship-Source Pollution

Key points



  • welcomes the proposal and recognises the European Commission's efforts to strengthen environmental protection, in particular by making the preservation of the seas a high priority and by introducing penalties for pollution offences in European seas;
  • acknowledges that it is important to have dissuasive and proportionate penalties across the EU for ship-source pollution offences. Establishing such minimum requirements as a reference point and holding the polluter accountable by applying the "polluter pays" principle could be beneficial and have a strong deterrent effect in the EU;
  • stresses that effective monitoring, control, identification and enforcement of pollution offences will require both a skilled workforce and technological advancements, including drone technology and satellite imagery. There is a need for properly trained, skilled professionals, for reskilling and up-skilling and further training of staff and crew in shipping, and for mandatory inspections in the event of marine pollution incidents, with due consideration to be given at all times to occupational health and safety protection on the ship and for the staff of the responsible authorities, including port staff.