The coastline of the European Union is many thousands of kilometres in length and contains well over 1 000 individual ports. These handle around 90% of EU external trade and around 40% of trade between EU countries. This involves handling 3.5 billion tonnes of goods and 350 million passengers being transported on millions of ship journeys each year.
Consequently, it is vital that EU maritime transport operates in a safe, secure and environmentally friendly way. In support of these goals, and in addition to the systems and procedures in place in each country, the EU has set legislation in place under port State control Directive 2009/16/EC*. This legislation aims to ensure that there is effective inspection of ships in EU ports and, thereby, to ensure that ships sailing in EU waters have been appropriately constructed and maintained. In addition, Directive 1999/35/EC provides for a system of mandatory surveys for the ro-ro ferries and high speed passenger crafts to be carried out by the host States.
Against this background, EMSA has been given the technical responsibility for monitoring of port State control at EU level. This involves assessing the functioning of the port State inspection systems set up by individual EU members, undertaking a comprehensive analysis of global statistics relating to vessels calling at EU ports, as well as analysis of data on individual ship inspections. The consequent risk assessment studies, and statistical research provide results which are used to develop objectives and procedures for the continuous improvement of EU port State control performance.
In addition, the Agency carries out a number of supporting tasks in this area in order to ensure the overall effectiveness of the EU port State control system. These tasks include:
*Directive 2009/16/EC entered into force on 17 June 2009 and started being applied from 1 January 2011. This Directive replaced Directive 95/21/EC.
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Development of harmonized training tools for PSC officers.
Deliver training: New Entrants Seminars and Refresher Seminars; training on Directive 2009/16/EC
Project management for the development and delivery of the Distance Learning Project.
Focal point of 'Rulecheck'.
Providing statistics upon request.Supporting the Commission in the implementation of Directive 2009/16/EC on PSC
Participation in Paris MoU meetings on behalf of the Commission.