RoRo Passenger Ships: EU Adopts Its Position On Improved Stability Requirements

In order to improve maritime safety, the Council, in its Transport configuration, the Council adopted its position (general approach) on the proposal to introduce improved stability requirements for ro-ro passenger ships.

This proposal, although highly technical in nature, is important for enhancing the safety of these vessels and therefore better protecting our citizens.

Ro-ro passenger ships provide numerous maritime links within Member States, between Member States and with third countries.

roro ship collapse

They are therefore of major importance to passenger and freight transport in Europe. The directive under review is also a direct consequence of one of the worst maritime accidents in European waters, the sinking of the ‘Estonia’.

The proposed amendment ensures, as far as possible, consistency with the international standards for stability of damaged passenger ships, which were recently updated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the 2020 SOLAS Convention.

The IMO is introducing a new model for assessing the survivability of damaged ro-ro passenger ships, as well as new related requirements. However, these new international standards appear to be insufficient in the light of the requirements already in force in the Union for new small vessels, which is why the proposal maintains a level of safety requirements equivalent to existing Union law.

The proposal also aims to strengthen the fleet entry requirements within the Union for existing large vessels that have not yet been certified in the Union. The Council text maintained the general approach of the Commission proposal, with the exception of an extension of the transposition deadline from 12 to 24 months, in line with the Council’s position.

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