The European Commission has proposed a new package of legislation aimed at reducing shipping accidents and modernizing EU maritime law. The package includes amendments to various directives and regulations, such as the EU maritime accident investigation directive and the compliance with the state flag directive. The package also proposes adding a duty for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to keep a register of ships subject to international sanctions. The European Commission has called for a focus on vessels below 15m in length, knowledge sharing between member states, and the digitization of shipping documentation.
According to Jaak Viilipus, head of the maritime management department at the Ministry of Climate, the European Commission’s attention to fishing vessel accidents and incidents is important, as an average of 24,000 people working in the fishing sector perish each year, according to the International Labor Organization. While this issue is not a major concern in Estonian waters, it is significant from a global perspective. Estonia has proposed adding the duty of keeping a register of ships subject to international sanctions to the founding regulation of the EMSA.
The new maritime safety package was presented by the European Commission in June, and work on drafts will begin this month. Estonia supports the directives, which focus on vessels below 15m in length, knowledge sharing between member states, and the digitization of shipping documentation.