Europe determined to sanction ‘dirty’ vessels

Consultant specialist ECM illustrates the the Directive 2009/123/EC in force by the end of 2010. In October 2009 the European Parliament issued the Directive 2009/123/EC – amending Directive 2005/35/EC in regards to ship-source pollution – which introduced new penalties for ship-source pollution in Europe by end of 2010, and mandated each Member State to bring it into force by December 2010. This Directive.


A consistent set of legislative measures has already been adopted at EU level to reinforce maritime safety and help prevent ship-source pollution addressed to flag States, shipowners and charterers, classification societies, port States and coastal States.
The European Parliament came to the conclusion that the existing system of sanctions for illicit ship-source discharges of polluting substances, as laid out in the previous legislation, needed to be strengthened by introducing criminal penalties.
“Indeed, the Directive explains that experience has shown that the existing systems of penalties have not been sufficient to achieve complete compliance with the laws for the protection of the environment” comments consultant specialist ECM’s Bruno Di Lascio. “This Directive should oblige Member States to provide in their national legislation for criminal penalties in respect of those discharges of polluting substances to which this Directive applies but should not create obligations regarding the application of such penalties or any other available system of law enforcement, to individual cases”.
The major clauses provide EU Member States to ensure that ship-source discharges of polluting substances, including minor discharges, into any area specified in Article 3(1) will be formally regarded as infringements, if committed with intent, recklessly or with serious negligence, as well as to take the necessary steps to ensure that legal persons can be held liable for criminal offences referred to in Article 5a(1) and (3) and Article 5b, if committed for their advantage by any natural person acting either individually or as part of the legal person entity, or with a leading position within the legal person organization. The latter is based on: a power of representation for the legal person; authority to take decisions on the legal person behalf or authority to exercise control within the legal person organization.
Francesco Bottino

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