EMSAFE: key facts and data
EMSAFE combines information from all the databases hosted by EMSA, thus offering the possibility of analysing data and obtaining detailed insights into the status of maritime safety in the EU.
EMSAFE: setting the scene
The size of the EU Member State fleet is an important indicator of its relevance within the global maritime transport sector; its distribution per ship type helps to focus safety efforts on specific areas of concern. Passenger ships currently make up 19% of the fleet; they represent the highest proportion of all ship types within the sea-going fleet (excluding fishing vessels), of which 45% are RoPax. Their average age is approximately 28 years, the oldest of all major ship categories.
The EU Member State fleet represents around 18% of global tonnage (GT), which in itself encompasses over half of all RoPax and high-speed craft (HSC) in the world by GT. Both of these ship types have been accorded dedicated instruments in the EU legislative acquis, recognising both their specific characteristics and their role in transporting millions of passengers every year through EU waters.
EMSAFE: maritime traffic and safety
Nearly a quarter of all ships that visited EU ports over the past five years were flagged to non-EU Member States, almost all (92%) registered to countries under the Paris MoU white list, i.e., with good safety records. During that period, only 5% of non-EU Member State-flagged ships visiting ports here were registered to countries with some safety issues (listed in the Paris MoU grey list) and only 3% were registered to countries with more significant safety issues (listed in the Paris MoU black list).
EMSAFE: Seafarers and safety
Qualified seafarers are essential to ensuring the safety of ship operations and are vital for the future of the maritime sector. There are currently approximately 330,000 masters and officers holding certificates of competency that allow them to serve onboard EU MS flagged ships, close to 40% of them from non-EU countries.
The seafaring profession is one of the toughest in the world, and the contribution of sailors to the global economy should not be underestimated. Long days at sea, often in bad weather conditions, together with intense activity in port, contribute to physical and mental fatigue. Port state control (PSC) inspections show that around 25% of all deficiencies found are related to the human element, most of them within MLC Title 4 which deals with healthcare, safety protection and accident prevention among seafarers.
EMSAFE: Fishing vessels
There are close to 75,000 fishing vessels registered in the EU-27. They present a high vulnerability to accidents, in that 50% of all the accidents involving fishing vessels are either very serious or serious, whereas the average for all ship categories is 27%. In addition, even though fishing vessels represent 17% of the total number of ships involved in accidents reported, the number of fishing vessels lost represents more than 55% of total number of lost vessels, a trend observed in recent years.
The ratio in the graph below indicates the annual probability for an EU Member State-flagged ship of the relevant category to have an occurrence, regardless of seriousness. It is notable that the indicator related to fishing vessels has continuously increased over the period and almost doubled from 2016 to 2020.
The implementation of maritime safety legislation in the EU is the responsibility of Member States in their capacities as flag, port, and coastal States. Notable here is the work done by all port state control (PSC) inspectors in the EU, with more than 14 000 inspections carried out each year. At least one deficiency is found in one out of every two inspections, and more than 50% of all deficiencies recorded are safety-related (falling under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)).