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Inspections of ro-ro ferries: informal agreement with the European Parliament

The Maltese presidency yesterday reached a preliminary agreement with the European Parliament on a streamlined but robust inspection regime for ro-ro ferries and high-speed passenger craft. The revised rules will create a clear framework for the inspections, thereby eliminating overlaps and closing regulatory gaps arising from the application by member states of different inspection regimes.

The agreed draft directive will reduce the administrative burden for ship owners and increase the time during which ships can be commercially exploited. At the same time, it will rationalise the inspection efforts of member states' authorities, while continuing to ensure a high common level of safety.

"The simplified inspection rules for ro-ro ships will continue to ensure a high level of safety for our citizens, while bringing savings to both the industry and the public sector," said Maltese Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ian Borg. "The new framework addresses effectively the specific characteristics of these vessels, in particular their intense activity, which means they need to be inspected often and at regular intervals."

Member states will have 24 months after the directive's entry into force to incorporate the new rules into their legislation. Derogations from transposition are the same as in the directive on port state control.

The draft directive agreed today is one of the proposals presented by the Commission in June 2016 following a comprehensive review of passenger ship safety.

The presidency will submit the outcome of today's talks for approval by member states in the coming weeks.

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