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Maritime safety: accelerated phasing-in of double-hull oil tankers

Maritime safety: accelerated phasing-in of double-hull oil tankers

To reduce the risk of accidental oil pollution in European waters, this law forbids the transport of heavy grades of oil to or from European Union (EU) ports in single-hull oil tankers. It also ensures an accelerated phasing-in scheme for the application of the double-hull or equivalent design requirements single-hull oil tankers no later than 2015.

ACT

Regulation (EU) No 530/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012 on the accelerated phasing-in of double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers.

SUMMARY

The latest EU law on the phasing-in of double-hull oil tankers, adopted in 2012, retains the essence of its previous law of 2002. It merges all the amendments made to the previous law into one text to make it clearer and thus more user-friendly.

The law applies to oil tankers of 5 000 tonnes deadweight and above which fly the flag of an EU member country, or, irrespective of their flag, which enter or leave a port or offshore terminal or anchor in an area under the jurisdiction of an EU country.

It does not, however, apply to any warship, naval auxiliary or other ship, owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on government non-commercial service.

The regulation:

  • prohibits the transport to or from EU ports of heavy grades of oil in single-hull oil tankers;
  • lays down an accelerated phasing-in scheme for the application of the double-hull or equivalent design requirements of the International Maritime Organization's International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (also known as MARPOL) to single-hull oil tankers, with 2015 as the final deadline.

Background

In 2002, following a series of accidents involving oil tankers which resulted in serious pollution, the EU adopted a law requiring the phase-out of the more vulnerable single-hull oil tankers (where oil in the cargo tanks is separated from the seawater only by a bottom and a side plate) and their replacement by double-hull vessels (where the cargo tanks are surrounded by a second internal plate at a sufficient distance from the external plate).

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 530/2012

20.7.2012

-

OJ L 172 of 30.6.2012

Last updated: 19.06.2014

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