In a joint EEA EFTA Comment, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway welcome the European Commission’s Maritime Safety Package, aimed at ensuring clean and modern shipping. They support the objective of improving the safety of the EEA maritime fleet and its seafarers, and the overall ambition of protecting the environment. EEA EFTA Comments are one of the tools used by the EEA EFTA States to participate in shaping EU policies, programmes, and legislation.
In the Comment submitted to the Commission, Council and Parliament on 8 November, Iceland and Norway highlight their long and proud maritime history, where safe, secure, and environmentally sound shipping is essential. The two EEA EFTA States maintain a high focus on reducing accidents and incidents at sea.
The Commission’s Maritime Safety Package aims to modernise EU rules on maritime safety and prevent water pollution from ships. It consists of five legislative proposals related to flag State requirements, port State control, maritime accident investigation, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and ship-source pollution. The EEA EFTA Comment addresses the first four of these proposals.
Among other observations, the EEA EFTA States express their concerns about the reduced flexibility given to the relevant national authorities to organise their resources. Flexibility is important to enable a suitable risk-based approach and ensure a high level of safety for EEA-flagged ships.
The EEA EFTA States advocate the alignment of the EU directives with the relevant international conventions and the decisions of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. They emphasise that any additional requirements at EU level should be justified and proportionate.
The EEA EFTA States also support the proposal to align EMSA’s mandate with its role of supporting the sustainability and digitalisation of the maritime sector, as well as the proposal to update the Agency’s tasks in view of the evolving security challenges at sea, including cybersecurity and hybrid threats.
Read the full EEA EFTA Comment here.
A list of past EEA EFTA Comments is available here.
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