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Safer and less polluting equipment on EU ships

Safer and less polluting equipment on EU ships

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2014/90/EU on marine equipment

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

The directive seeks to:

  • improve safety at sea;
  • prevent marine pollution;
  • ensure international safety standards for equipment on EU ships are interpreted in the same way across the EU.

It imposes extra conditions on the national authorities responsible for certifying equipment on ships flying their flag (under international conventions) when issuing, endorsing or renewing certificates.

KEY POINTS

  • The directive applies to all ships flying an EU flag, whether or not the vessel was in the EU when the equipment was fitted.
  • Equipment is assessed by an independent, third party (‘notified body’).
  • If it meets the requirements of the directive it is stamped with a certification mark (the ‘wheel mark’).
  • Equipment manufacturers may also attach an electronic tag to their products. This should make it easier to prevent counterfeiting and to monitor the market.
  • EU countries have to undertake market surveillance on an adequate scale.
  • If national authorities believe an equipment covered by the legislation presents a risk to maritime safety, people’s health or the environment, or if it does not comply with the legislation, its supplier must withdraw it.

The European Commission has adopted the following delegated and implementing acts:

  • Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/414 supplements Directive 2014/90/EU as regards the identification of specific items of marine equipment which can benefit from electronic tagging. A cost–benefit analysis concerning the use of electronic tags as a supplement to or replacement of the wheel mark carried out by the Commission demonstrated that, due to the electronic tagging of marine equipment: manufacturers should benefit from an improved prevention of counterfeiting; shipowners and operators should be able to carry out equipment traceability and stock control more easily; and market surveillance authorities should benefit from direct and easy access to the relevant databases, which will improve the validation checks of certificates. The analysis concluded that overall investments will be low compared to the expected benefits and that costs for authorities and industry are affordable because of a possible step-wise voluntary implementation.
  • Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/608 lays down technical criteria for electronic tags for marine equipment.
  • Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1170 lays down rules on design, construction and performance requirements and testing standards for marine equipment and repeals Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1397.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

It has applied since 17 September 2014 and had to become law in the EU countries by 18 September 2016.

BACKGROUND

International maritime safety conventions require countries to ensure that the equipment on ships sailing under their flag meet certain design, construction and performance standards.

However, countries are given a significant degree of discretion in how they do this, which can lead to varying levels of safety and could disrupt the free flow of goods across the EU.

By implementing standardised EU certification rules, these problems are avoided and the single market works as it was designed to. Moreover, crew and passengers of ships bearing the flag of an EU country can be sure that the wheel-marked equipment on board has been tested and certified in accordance with the applicable safety and environmental standards.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Directive 2014/90/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on marine equipment and repealing Council Directive 96/98/EC (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, pp. 146-185)

Successive amendments to Directive 2014/90/EU have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1170 of 16 July 2020 on design, construction and performance requirements and testing standards for marine equipment and repealing Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1397 (OJ L 264, 12.8.2020, pp. 1-269)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/608 of 19 April 2018 laying down technical criteria for electronic tags for marine equipment (OJ L 101, 20.4.2018, pp. 64-67)

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/414 of 9 January 2018 supplementing Directive 2014/90/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the identification of specific items of marine equipment which can benefit from electronic tagging (OJ L 75, 19.3.2018, pp. 3-17)

last update 08.10.2020

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