Help Print this page 

Summaries of EU Legislation

Title and reference
Mandatory checks on regular ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.
Languages and formats available
Multilingual display
Text

Mandatory checks on regular ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 1999/35/EC — system of mandatory surveys for the safe operation of regular ro-ro ferry and high-speed passenger craft services

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THIS DIRECTIVE DO?

It provides for mandatory surveys of regular roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) ferries* and high-speed passenger craft using EU ports to ensure that they satisfy applicable safety standards.

KEY POINTS

  • The legislation applies to all ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft using EU ports, regardless of their flag, when operating international or domestic journeys.
  • EU countries must ensure that, before they start operating a service, the ferries and vessels:
    • carry valid certificates, which have been verified;
    • comply with the relevant classification standards;
    • are fitted with a voyage data recorder (VDR);
    • satisfy specific stability requirements.
  • Companies operating the services must ensure that measures, such as information on shore-based navigational guidance systems, are available on board the vessels.
  • EU countries must:
    • carry out an initial inspection before the start of a regular service to ensure necessary safety standards are met;
    • carry out subsequent inspections twice a year and after any repairs or change of management, one of the two annual inspections should be an inspection during a regular service;
    • prevent a vessel from operating if it does not comply with the safety standards;
    • in the event of an accident or casualty involving a vessel covered by this directive, cooperate in the investigation with any country which has a substantial interest.

Related legislation on port state control aims to outlaw substandard shipping in the EU. It requires all vessels to comply with EU and international safety standards, as contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) for instance.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

It has applied from 1 June 1999. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 1 December 2000.

KEY TERM

* ro-ro ferry: a seagoing passenger vessel with facilities to enable road or rail vehicles roll on and roll off, and carrying more than 12 passengers.

ACT

Council Directive 1999/35/EC of 29 April 1999 on a system of mandatory surveys for the safe operation of regular ro-ro ferry and high-speed passenger craft services (OJ L 138, 1.6.1999, pp. 1-19)

Successive amendments to Directive 1999/35/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED ACTS

Directive 2009/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on port State control (OJ L 131, 28.5.2009, pp. 57-100). See consolidated version.

last update 19.04.2016

Top