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Commission welcomes EU Parliament approval for maritime passenger rights

Date: 10/08/2010

On 6th July 2010, the European Commission welcomed the European Parliament voting in favour of a regulation on rights of passengers travelling by sea and by inland waterways. After air and rail, also transport by water will be covered by a specific set of rights for passengers at EU level. Maritime and inland waterway passengers, and in particular passengers with a disability and people with a reduced mobility, will enjoy new rights that will protect them when they travel anywhere within the European Union.

Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President in charge of transport, said: "This regulation on the rights of passengers travelling by sea and by inland waterway will extend passenger rights to further transport modes. This means that passengers travelling by water will benefit from the same basic quality service standards wherever they travel in the Union. We hope that the European framework of passengers' rights might soon be completed by the adoption of a regulation on rights for passengers travelling by bus and coach."

The new rights include amongst others:

  • guarantee of reimbursement or rerouting in situations of cancellation or of delay at departure of more than 90 minutes,
  • adequate assistance (such as snacks, meals, refreshments and, where necessary, accommodation up to three nights, with a financial coverage up to € 80 per night) in situations of cancellation or delay at departure of more than 90 minutes,
  • compensation, between 25% and 50% of the ticket price, in situations of delay in arrival or cancellation of journeys,
  • non-discriminatory treatment and specific assistance free of charge for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility both at port terminals and on board ships, as well financial compensation for loss or damage of their mobility equipment,
  • minimum rules on information for all passengers before and during their journey, as well as general information about their rights in terminals and on board ships;
  • establishment by carriers and terminal operators of complaint handling mechanism available to passengers,
  • establishment of independent national bodies for the enforcement of the regulation, through, where appropriate, the application of penalties.

Next steps
After this vote in the European Parliament, the Council will have to confirm the agreement reached with the Parliament for this regulation to be formally adopted. The Regulation is due to enter into force two years after its adoption.

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