Ship Inspections: Preparing for Brexit

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On November 14, the member states’ ambassadors gave the presidency a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament an amendment to rules on the assessment of ship inspection organizations.

Continuous assessment

The aim of the mandate is to ensure legal certainty and secure business continuity when the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Under the current rules, ship inspection organizations recognized at EU level must be assessed at least every two years by the Commission. In addition, each organization has a ‘sponsor’ member state, meaning the country which initially submitted the request for recognition of the organization and which participates in the assessment.

The UK is the initial sponsor of two organizations recognized by the EU. Following Brexit, it will no longer be in a position to participate in the assessments for those two organizations.

Amendments to the draft

The draft amendment to the rules would replace the requirement that only the sponsor country participates in the assessment, with a provision allowing for the participation of any EU country which has authorized one of the recognized organizations. This would allow organizations for which the UK has acted as sponsor to continue to carry out inspections, thereby ensuring the uninterrupted safety of European ships.

Furthermore, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament with the aim of reaching an agreement on the proposed regulation as soon as the Parliament has finalized its position.

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Source: Council of the European Union

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