Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

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Coming soon

Over the course of the next few months, the content of this site will expand rapidly.

Among the topics we aim to cover, are the governance structures of EU maritime law, inland waterway transport, rules applying to seafarers, trade regulations, security issues, port regulations and competion law.

The 1974 SOLAS Convention sets the legal baseline for the safety of merchant and passenger ships, their construction, equipment and operation. More information about the convention can be found at the IMO website.

SOLAS also regulates, or partly regulates (presented on separate subsections):

We also maintain these other relevant sections on safety issues:

International law

SOLAS: International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974. Full text

Paris MoU: Paris Memorandum of Understanding of port state control. Go to web site

EU ratification

Council Recommendation 78/584/EEC of 26.6.1978 on the ratification of Conventions on safety in shipping
OJ L 194, 19.7.1978, p. 17. Full text (PDF format)

European law

Commission Decision 2004/71/EC of 4.9.2003 on essential requirements relating to marine radio communication equipment which is intended to be used on non-SOLAS vessels and to participate in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). Full text (PDF format)

Commission Decision 2003/213/EC of 25.3.2003 on the application of Article 3(3)(e) of Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council to radio equipment intended to be used on non-SOLAS vessels and which is intended to participate in the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Full text (PDF format)

Commission Decision 2000/638/EC of 22.9.2000 on the application of Article 3(3)(e) of Directive 1999/5/EC to marine radio communication equipment intended to be fitted to seagoing non-SOLAS vessels and which is intended to participate in the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) and not covered by Council Directive 96/98/EC on marine equipment. Full text (PDF format)

Commission Decision 2013/638/EU of 12 August 2013 on essential requirements relating to marine radio communication equipment which is intended to be used on non-SOLAS vessels and to participate in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). Full text (PDF format)

Cases before the European Court of Justice (ECJ)

Case C-308/06, The Queen on the application of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (Intertanko), the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo), the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee, Lloyd’s Register, and International Salvage Union v. Secretary of State for Transport, Judgment of 3.6.2008. [2008] ECR I 4057. Full text

Case C-188/07, Commune de Mesquer v. Total France & Total International Ltd., ECR (2008) I-4501. Full text

Case C 379/92, Criminal proceedings against Matteo Peralta. [1994] ECR I 3453. Opinion of Advocate-General Lenz of 11.5.1994. Full text

EMSA

Click here to visit the EMSA web site on maritime security issues.

Statements of EU Institutions

Proposal for a Council Decision on the position to be adopted on behalf of the European Union at the 65th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee of amendments to forms A and B of the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificates and amendments to the Condition Assessment Scheme and at the 92nd session of the Maritime Safety Committee of amendments to the International Safety Management Code and amendments to SOLAS chapter III and the High Speed Craft Codes 1994 and 2000 concerning enclosed space entry and rescue drills. COM(2013) 212 final of 17.4.2013. Full text (PDF format)

Written Questions by Members of the European Parliament (rule 117)

Written Question E-000658/2012 by Spyros Danellis: “Measures relating to the cruise shipping sector” with answer by Commissioner Kallas of 28.2.2012. Full text

Written Question E-010792/2010 by Franz Obermayr: “Scrapping of the Blue Lady, the former Norway (previously the France)” with answer by Commissioner Potočnik of 8.3.2011. Full text

Written Question P-3722/09 by Corien Wortmann-Kool: “Historic sailing ships at sea” with answer by Commissioner Tajani of 21.8.2009. Full text

Written Question E-3461/07 by Corien Wortmann-Kool: “Problems relating to certification of maritime sailing ships” with answer by Commissioner Barrot of 26.9.2007. Full text

Written Question E-0803/07 by Dimitrios Papadimoulis: “International ship and port facilities security code (ISPS code)” with answer by Commissioner Barrot of 26.4.2007. Full text

Written Question No. 251/81 by Miss Quinn: “Ratification of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 1974)” with answer by Mr Contogeorgis of 10.7.1981. OJ C 199, 6.8.1981, p. 14. Full text (PDF format)

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