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Vice President Kallas in talks with IMO Secretary General – focus on ship safety and reducing emissions

Date: 11/06/2013

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas and the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization Mr. Koji Sekimizu met in Brussels and reaffirmed their common goal to work together towards safer and more environmentally friendly shipping. The meeting focused on two main points: passenger ship safety and measures to reduce CO2 emissions from international shipping.

Vice President Kallas said: "Reducing shipping casualties by 50% by 2015 is an ambitious goal set by Mr Sekimizu, which I fully support. At the end of the day, this is a joint effort. Following the tragic Costa Concordia accident, the cruise industry's voluntary commitments on safety of passenger ships helped develop the IMO regulatory framework. And we have, together with the EU Member States, put damage stability firmly on the IMO agenda, based on extensive research work. We now encourage the IMO to move swiftly on this matter."

The context

Since 2010 the Commission has been engaged in a comprehensive review of passenger ship safety legislation: evaluation of the existing legal framework, large scale technical studies, as well as a safety gap analysis. In terms of piracy, Mr Kallas warmly welcomed the Secretary General's aim that no hostages should remain and that the scourge of piracy itself would be removed from the seas. Regarding shipping efficiency, Vice-President Kallas stressed Commissioner Hedegaard's and his full engagement in the IMO work to develop new measures to further improve the efficiency and reduce emissions. In this context, it is important that the upcoming meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC):

  • finalises the discussions on capacity building, technological cooperation and technology transfer,
  • takes decisions to allow a move towards collecting and verifying data on shipping emissions,
  • and defines a clear way forward for the development of additional efficiency measures.


Passenger ship safety and pollution prevention and control are regulated by a body of international and European legislation in which the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) plays a lead role for safety standards. In parallel, the EU constantly contributes to the regulatory process and transposes, enforces and tops up rules as necessary and possible. The aim is to increase the effectiveness of the safety rules for passenger vessels in domestic voyages and the operational standards of all passenger ships coming to or leaving EU ports.

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