An agreement was reached last night on improved digital registration and safety inspections for ferries and ships. The EPP Group warmly welcomes the compromise as it makes sea travel safer and significantly reduces administrative procedures by introducing a mandatory digital registration process. The EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar MEP said: “Europe is one of the safest places for ferry travel in the world. However, as we have seen with some accidents in recent years, there is still room for improvement. Authorities often have insufficient and slow access to actual passenger numbers and other specific information which is crucial for any search and rescue team.”
In the agreement on the registration of ship passengers, Member States and the European Parliament agreed on making the registration digital, easier and more comprehensive. Monteiro de Aguiar continued: “Under the new rules, passenger ships will have 15 minutes to upload crucial passenger information. Instead of handwritten registers, which are kept on board or at the ticketing office and which are difficult to find in cases of accidents, the information is kept in a national database. This allows, for example, the possibility to contact relatives quicker to provide first-hand information on the situation of their family members.”
With 400 million passengers passing through European ports every year, the importance of high standards of safety inspections is crucial. The agreement struck last night on more harmonised rules will give clearer guidance to maritime operators and national authorities. Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar concluded: “These measures will save time and money for business and passengers while continuing to ensure a high level of safety for passengers.”
Both agreements still have to be approved by the Council and the European Parliament to definitively adopt the rules. The Parliament vote is expected to take place in October.