The European Parliament today voted for new safety rules that will make sea travel safer for millions of passengers and reduce administrative burdens for hundreds of companies. The EPP Group Shadow Rapporteurs Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar and Salvatore Domenico Pogliese are satisfied with the wide support in Parliament and look forward to the swift implementation by Member States: “Europe is already the safest place in the world for sea travel and with these new rules for passenger ships, we will make Europe’s seas even safer”, the MEPs declared.
The new rules on mandatory digital registration are a big step towards modernising and simplifying procedures for passenger ships. Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar MEP said: “With these rules, we are finally bringing the opportunities of the digital economy to maritime passenger transport operations. In particular, the digital registration of passengers will guarantee access to crucial information for search and rescue teams in cases of accidents. Instead of keeping the registries on board or at ticketing offices, passenger data will be given to the relevant authorities in electronic format within 15 minutes of the ship’s departure. We will win valuable time in cases of emergency and save companies a lot of the bureaucracy that comes with manual registration.”
Besides improving passenger safety, cutting administrative burdens for hundreds of maritime transport companies in Europe was a key priority for the EPP Group. Salvatore Domenico Pogliese MEP said: “This package contains the most extensive rules on passenger ship safety in the EU, applicable to vessels travelling on domestic routes. It sets out detailed technical requirements for a ship’s construction, its stability and its fire safety. This would not have been possible without a streamlining of the safety and inspection regimes in Member States, thereby significantly reducing overlaps and uncertainty for the companies involved.”
With 400 million passengers passing through European ports every year, the importance of high standards of safety inspections is crucial. The more harmonised rules will give clearer guidance to maritime operators and national authorities. Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar and Salvatore Domenico Pogliese concluded: “These measures will save time and money for businesses and passengers and reduce administrative burdens for the public sector while increasing passenger safety in Europe.”