The European Commission issued a press release in mid-June welcoming the agreement reached within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introducing more stringent requirements for the safety of passenger ships. Upon their entry into force in 2020, all new passenger ships will have to be designed to remain afloat for longer if their hull gets damaged. As a result, it is estimated that the safety level will increase by up to 90% for the largest ships (carrying 1.350 passengers or more). This international agreement follows a proposal made in January 2016 by the European Commission and the EU Member States with the support of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said, “With more than 200 million passengers embarking in EU ports each year, passenger safety is at the heart of the Commission’s transport policy. It is a matter of great satisfaction to see that the EU has also successfully contributed to ambitious global standards that will guarantee the safety of passengers across the globe“.