Members' Research Service By / September 21, 2023

Revision of the Directive on Ship-source Pollution [EU Legislation in Progress]

The EU policies on preventing pollution from ships were developed between 2000 and 2009 in the wake of two major maritime accidents involving the ships Erika and Prestige.

© Valeriia / Adobe Stock

Written by Karin Jacobs (1st edition).

On 1 June 2023, the European Commission presented a legislative package to modernise and reinforce maritime rules on safety and pollution prevention. This package contains proposals for the revision of five legislative acts, among them the revision of the Directive on Ship-source Pollution. The aim is to combat pollution from maritime ships thereby preventing all ship-owners and operators, regardless of the ship’s flag, from releasing any type of illegal discharge, in line with International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules, into European seas. The proposal contains a robust framework for penalties for infringements, and their application. In addition, there would be an extended range of substances classified as polluting, and enforcement would be strengthened.

Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) is leading the work on this legislative file and Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, Romania) has been appointed rapporteur. The Committees on Legal Affairs (JURI), Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), and Fisheries (PECH) have been invited to provide opinions.


Proposal for a directive amending Directive 2005/35/EC on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties, including criminal penalties, for pollution offences
Committee responsible:Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN)COM(2023) 0273
Rapporteur:Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, Romania)2023/0171(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Sara Cerdas (S&D, Portugal)
Bergur Lokke Rasmussen (Renew, Denmark)
Carlo Fidanza (ECR, Italy)
Leila Chaibi (The Left, France)
Ordinary legislative procedure
(COD) (Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Publication of draft report

EU legislation in progress

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