European Traffic Monitoring and Information System: Directive 2002/59/EC of 27 June 2002

European Traffic Monitoring and Information System Directive 2002/59/EC of 27 June 2002

On 27 June 2002, Directive 2002/59/EC1 establishing a European Union vessel traffic monitoring and information system was adopted and was subsequently amended by Directives 2009/17/EC of 23 April 20092 and 2009/18/EC of 23 April 20093 and by Commission Directive 2001/15/EU of 23 February 2011.4

The importance of this directive in connection with the uniform measures aiming at preventing environmental damage clearly appears from its art. 1 which states:

The purpose of this Directive is to establish in the Community a vessel traffic monitoring and information system with a view to enhancing the safety and efficiency of maritime traffic, improving the response of authorities to incidents, accidents or potentially dangerous situations at sea, including search and rescue operations, and contributing to a better prevention and detection of pollution by ships. Member States shall monitor and take all necessary and appropriate measures to ensure that the masters, operators or agents of ships, as well as shippers or owners of dangerous or polluting goods carried on board such ships, comply with the requirements under this Directive.

From its scope there are excluded ships that are also excluded in several IMO Conventions. Art. 2(2) provides:

2 Unless otherwise provided, this Directive shall not apply to:

(a) warships, naval auxiliaries and other ships owned or operated by a Member State and used for non-commercial public service;

(b) fishing vessels, traditional ships and recreational craft with a length of less than 45 metres;

(c) bunkers on ships below 1000 gross tonnage and ships’ stores and equipment for use on board all ships.

The linkage with IMO Conventions is evidenced from the reference in art. 3, among the relevant international instruments, to MARPOL, SOLAS, the Intervention Convention of 1969, the ISM Code,5 the IMDG Code,6 the IBC Code7 and the IGC Code,8 as well as by the following definition of dangerous goods in art. 3(g):

(g) ‘dangerous goods’ means:

goods classified in the IMDG Code,

dangerous liquid substances listed in Chapter 17 of the IBC Code,

liquefied gases listed in Chapter 19 of the IGC Code,

solids referred to in Appendix B of the BC Code.

Also included are goods for the carriage of which appropriate preconditions have been laid down in accordance with paragraph 1.1.3 of the IBC Code or paragraph 1.1.6 of the IGC Code.

Member States were required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Directive 2009/17/EC by 30 November 2010.

Among the provisions that appear of particular importance for the protection of the environment, there are those relating:

(a) to the information that must be provided in connection with the transport of dangerous goods;

(b) to the notification of dangerous polluting goods carried on board;

(c) to the monitoring of hazardous ships;

(d) to the reporting of incidents and accidents at sea;

(e) to measures relating to incidents or accidents at sea; and

(f) to ships in need of assistance.

(a) Information concerning the transport of dangerous goods

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