October 1, 2004

EU publishes list of banned ships

European Commission has published in the Official Journal a list of ships refused access to European Union ports between November 1, 2003 and August 31, 2004.

Publication of this information in the Official Journal is required under the new European rules on port State control (Article 7b(1) of EU Directive 95/21/EC) to ensure transparency and to deter those who already fall short of the relevant maritime safety standards.

"This measure is part of the arsenal of legislation adopted in the wake of the Erika and Prestige disasters to combat oil spills and rust-bucket ships. We must keep up the pressure so that maritime safety continues to improve globally and ensure that the rules are applied rigorously by all Member States."said Loyola de Palacio, Commission Vice-President responsible for transport and energy.

In parallel, at the request of the Commission, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) publishes on its web site a regularly updated list of ships banned from EU ports.

Nineteen ships were banned from EU ports between November 1, 2003 and August 31, 2004, flying the flags of eight different States: St Vincent and the Grenadines (6), Bolivia (3), Panama (3), Turkey (3), Belize (1), Cyprus (1), Romania (1) and Syrian Arab Republic (1).

Most of the ships listed in the Official Journal are bulk carriers (12 out of the nineteen), but there are also four ro-ro passenger ships, two chemical tankers and one oil tanker.

The ban on entering EU ports was imposed on these ships because they were detained several times and they were flying a flag included in the black list published as part of the annual report of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control.

Under Article 7b, gas and chemical tankers, bulk carriers, oil tankers and passenger ships are refused access to community ports if:

  • they fly the flag of a state appearing in the black list as published in the annual report of the Paris MOU on port state control, and have been detained for the third time in the course of the last 24 months or;
  • they fly the flag of a state described as "very high risk" or "high risk" in the black list and have been detained for the second time in the course of the last 36 months.

The "ban" becomes applicable only after the ship has been released from the second or third detention.


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