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Maritime safety: European Maritime Safety Agency

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Maritime safety: European Maritime Safety Agency

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) seeks to ensure a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety and maritime security in the European Union. It also works to prevent pollution and respond to pollution caused by ships or by oil and gas installations.

ACT

1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency.

SUMMARY

The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) seeks to ensure a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety and maritime security in the European Union. It also works to prevent pollution and respond to pollution caused by ships or by oil and gas installations.

WHAT DOES THIS REGULATION DO?

This regulation sets up EMSA, which is based in Lisbon. The agency provides technical assistance and support to the European Commission and EU countries in regard to the development, application and evaluation of EU law on maritime safety, security and pollution.

KEY POINTS

EMSA has core and support tasks.

Core tasks

Assistance in the preparatory work for updating and developing relevant EU laws.

Visits and inspections in the EU countries for the effective implementation of relevant binding EU legal acts.

Training activities and technical assistance for national administrations.

Supporting pollution response actions in cases of pollution caused by ships and oil and gas installations (EMSA provides operational assistance only on the request of the affected country).

EMSA also operates the European Union Long-Range Identification and Tracking of Ships European Data Centre and the EU’s Maritime Information and Exchange System (SafeSeaNet). The agency may also provide operational support concerning investigations where there have been deaths or serious injuries.

Support tasks

EMSA only assumes these tasks if they create substantial added value and avoid duplication of effort and do not infringe on EU countries’ rights and obligations. These tasks relate to environmental matters, the earth observation programme GMES (now Copernicus) and inland waterways.

EMSA visits and inspections

EMSA visits countries to assist the Commission and national administrations to check the effective implementation of EU rules and ensure a high and uniform level of safety. The agency carries out inspections with classification societies, as well as in non-EU countries regarding the training and certification of seafarers.

Structure

EMSA is an EU body and has legal personality. Its staff consists of officials recruited by the agency and EU officials and EU countries’ civil servants temporarily assigned or seconded to the agency. It is headed by an executive director who is completely independent in the performance of his/her duties.

Its Administrative Board comprises representatives from the Commission and each EU country, all of whom have a vote. It also includes representatives from Iceland and Norway and professionals from four maritime sectors, none of whom can vote. Its term of office is 5 years and is renewable once.

Budget

Regulation (EU) No 911/2014 provides for a multiannual funding plan of €160.5 million for EMSA’s response to pollution activities for the 2014-20 period. EMSA’s overall budget comprises a main contribution from the EU budget and additional contributions from non-EU countries involved in its work. The agency may also charge for publications, training and any other service that it provides.

BACKGROUND

Two accidents (the Erika in 1999 and the Prestige in 2002) resulted in oil spills in European waters. Both caused serious environmental and economic damage to the French and Spanish coasts. This prompted the setting-up of EMSA in 2003 to ensure that Europe is prepared for large-scale oil spills.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

1406/2002

25.8.2002

-

OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p. 1-9.

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

1644/2003

1.10.2003

-

OJ L 245, 29.9.2003, pp. 10-12

724/2004

19.5.2004

-

OJ L 129, 29.4.2004, pp. 1-5.

2038/2006

31.12.2006

-

OJ L 394, 30.12.2006, pp. 1-4

100/2013

1.3.2013

-

OJ L 39, 9.2.2013, pp. 30-40

The successive amendments and corrections made to Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

911/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on multiannual funding for the action of the European Maritime Safety Agency in the field of response to marine pollution caused by ships and oil and gas installations (Official Journal L 257, 28.8.2014, pp. 115-120).

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

Directive 2005/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements (Official Journal L 255, 30.9.2005, pp. 11-21).

Directive 2002/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system and repealing Council Directive 93/75/EEC (Official Journal L 208, 5.8.2002, pp. 10-27).

Last updated: 04.01.2015

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