Safety of oil tankers

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Where the relevant European Commission website refers to the safety of oil tankers, it states about “double hull requirements”:

“Regulation 417/2002/EC [now Regulation (EU) No 530/2012] encouraged the use of environment friendly tankers in EU waters by setting a timetable for phasing out single-hull oil tankers worldwide.

Double-hull tankers offer better protection for the environment in the event of an accident. For this reason, the IMO had decided that all oil tankers built from 1996 on should have a double hull. After the adoption of the Regulation, the EU negotiated for a faster phase-out and secured international acceptance for its position at IMO.”

International law

MARPOL Annex I – Prevention of pollution by oil. Full text. Additional resources available at the IMO web site.

EU ratification


European law

Regulation (EU) No 530/2012 of 13.6.2012 on the accelerated phasing-in of double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers [recast]. (replacing Regulation 417/2002/EC which was replacing Regulation 2978/94/EC). Full text (PDF format)

Regulation (EC) No 2978/94 on the implementation of IMO Resolution A.747(18) on the application of tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated ballast oil tankers OJ L 319 of 12.12.1994, p. 1. Full text (PDF format)

Directive 79/116/EEC of 21.12.1978 concerning minimum requirements for certain tankers entering or leaving Community ports. Full text (PDF format)

Statements of EU Institutions

Commission Communication on a second set of Community measures on maritime safety following the sinking of the oil tanker Erika [ERIKA II]. COM(2000) 802 final of 6.12.2000. Full text (PDF format)

Commission Communication on the safety of the seaborne oil trade. COM(2000) 142 final of 21.3.2000 [ERIKA I]. Full text (PDF format)

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

Written Question E-009242-12 by Willy Meyer: “Ten years on from the Prestige disaster: investigation and protocol for marine accidents”. With answer by Commissioner Kallas of 10.12.2012. Full text

Written Question E-5383/08 by Raül Romeva i Rueda “Single-hull oil tankers” with answer by Commissioner Tajani of 18.11.2008. "Full text

Written Question E-2643/08 by David Hammerstein: “Non-compliance with EU legislation concerning single-hull oil tankers in the Canary Islands” with answer by Commissioner Tajani of 30.6.2008. Full text

Written Question E-2349/05 by Margrete Auken: “Accelerated phasing-out of single hull vessels should not lead to an increase in the number of scrap vessels that are processed in an unsafe way” with answer by Mr Dimas of 26.8.2005. Full text

Written Question E-2348/05 by Margrete Auken: “Urgent appropriate action to ensure proper application of Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 on phased-out single hull oil tankers and related joint enforcement programme” with answer by Mr Dimas of 26.8.2005. Full text

Written Question E-2347/05 by Margrete Auken: “The phasing out of single hull oil tankers constitutes a clear point in time when a ship that is still able to sail also becomes ‘waste’” with answer by Commissioner Barrot of 7.10.2005. Full text

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