Since the adoption of the Commission’s first communication on maritime safety - "A Common Policy on Safe Seas" - which in 1993 aimed at ensuring that all ships flying under the flag of an EU Member State or entering an EU port comply with international safety standards, the European Community has constantly developed and intensified its maritime safety policy.

Since the adoption of the Commission’s first communication on maritime safety - "A Common Policy on Safe Seas" - which in 1993 aimed at ensuring that all ships flying under the flag of an EU Member State or entering an EU port comply with international safety standards, the European Community has constantly developed and intensified its maritime safety policy.

In particular, following the accidental oil spills of the "Erika" in 1999 and the "Prestige" in 2002, two single-hull oil tankers, the European Commission rapidly initiated additional rules and standards – known as the Erika I and II packages – for the prevention of unintentional oil pollution at sea. With the Third Maritime Safety Package (Erika III), the Commission on 23rd November 2005 adopted seven measures intended to supplement and improve the efficiency of the existing European legislation on maritime safety by means of a more proactive and preventive policy.

For more on this process see below.

Erika III Package policy process update (27/11/07).

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