Protect European seas from ships illegally dumping waste

16.11.2023 7:32

Protect European seas from ships illegally dumping waste

An oil patch floating in the water during an oil spill at a beach

The EPP Group is at the forefront of the fight against ship-source pollution, urging Member States to step up and take stronger and more effective action to curb illegal discharges in European seas and port areas.

“The current EU legislation is not working because it is poorly implemented by the Member States. This is unacceptable. It is time for the Member States to step up and protect European seas from the harmful effects of ships dumping waste. Illegal discharges must be effectively detected and penalties set at a level that acts as a real deterrent," underlines Marian-Jean Marinescu MEP, the EPP Group negotiator of the new rules to prevent ship-source pollution, which the Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee will vote on today.

To improve enforcement, the EPP Group calls, above all, for effective detection and verification of illegal discharges. Alerts from the existing European satellite-based oil spill and vessel detection service (CleanSeaNet) must be rigorously used by the Member States, as well as on-the-spot verification by ships or drones. This would improve the current problems, where many satellite alerts go unchecked.

Moreover, the EPP Group considers the administrative penalties in several Member States to be too low and advocates for dissuasive, effective and proportionate penalties.

The EPP Group welcomes the broadening of the scope of the law to include harmful packaged substances, sewage, garbage, discharge water, and scrubber residues.

“This law is the right step to bring EU rules in line with international standards. It is a commitment to cleaner seas, greater accountability and a more sustainable maritime future," concluded Marinescu.

The EPP Group is calling on the EU Member States to quickly decide on their negotiating position to adopt the new rules before next year’s European elections.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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