• Tougher penalties for sea pollution

    Intentional pollution from ships, as well as reckless or negligent acts leading to marine pollution, will become a criminal offence in 2007 following agreement on an EU deal that sets new standards.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]New legislation approved in July by ministers and MEPs will allow fines of between €150 000 and €1.5 million on anyone – including the master, owner, operator, charter or classification society – found to have caused or contributed to illegal pollution from ships, either intentionally or by serious negligence. It will be enforceable for all ships using EU ports, regardless which country they are registered in.

    By agreeing minimum levels of maximum financial penalties, the new legislation represents a 10-fold increase compared with current fines in some member states. The levels also go further than the international UN and Marpol conventions.

    Although most member states allow imprisonment for serious maritime offences, the 25 failed to reach agreement on harmonised minimum prison sentences.

    This news story is taken from the September 2005 edition of T&E Bulletin.