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Legislation

Title: Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU
Sectors of Transport: Transport, Maritime & inland waterways
Weblinks: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/AUTO/?uri=CELEX:02004R0789-20190726 , https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/AUTO/?uri=CELEX:32004R0789
Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU

Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EC) No 789/2004 on the transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

It aims to eliminate the technical barriers to the transfer of cargo and passenger ships flying the flag of an EU country between the registers of EU countries while ensuring a high level of ship safety and environmental protection in compliance with international conventions.

KEY POINTS

Scope

  • The regulation applies to passenger ships built on or after 1 July 1998 and cargo ships built on or after 25 May 1980 or ships that were built before those dates but have been certified as complying with the relevant European and the International Maritime Organization regulations.
  • However, the regulation does not apply to:
    • ships delivered after completion of their construction that do not carry valid full-term certificates from the EU country of the losing register;
    • ships that have been refused access to EU countries’ ports in accordance with Directive 2009/16/EC on port State control (see summary) during the 3 years preceding application for registration following inspection in the port of a State signatory of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding of 1982 on Port State Control;
    • warships or troopships, or other ships owned or operated by an EU country and used only for government non-commercial purposes;
    • ships not propelled by mechanical means, wooden ships of primitive build, pleasure yachts not engaged in trade or fishing vessels;
    • cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage.

Transfer between registers

  • EU countries will not withhold from registration, for technical reasons arising from the conventions, a ship registered in another EU country which complies with the requirements and carries valid certificates and marine equipment in accordance with Directive 2014/90/EU (see summary).
  • Upon receiving the request for transfer, the EU country of the losing register will provide the EU country of the receiving register with all relevant information on the ship, in particular on its condition and equipment. This information contains the history file of the vessel, a list of the improvements required by the losing register for registering the ship or renewing its certificates and a list of overdue surveys.
  • Before registering a ship, the EU country of the receiving register will subject the ship to an inspection to confirm that the actual condition of the ship and its equipment correspond to the certificates.

Certificates

  • Upon the transfer, the EU country of the receiving register, or the recognised organisation acting on its behalf, will issue certificates to the ship under the same conditions as those issued under the flag of the EU country of the losing register.
  • At the time of renewal, extension or revision of the certificates, the EU country of the receiving register, or the recognised organisation acting on its behalf, will not impose requirements other than those initially prescribed for the full-term certificates.

Refusal of transfer and interpretation

  • The EU country of the receiving register will immediately notify the European Commission of any refusal to issue, or to authorise the issuing of, new certificates to a ship.
  • Where an EU country considers that a ship cannot be registered for reasons relating to serious danger to security, safety or to the environment, registration may be suspended.

Reporting

Each year, EU countries submit a succinct yearly report on the implementation of the regulation to the Commission. In 2015, the Commission submitted a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the regulation.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 20 May 2004.

BACKGROUND

  • Measures to facilitate the transfer of cargo and passenger ships within the EU are required in order to reduce costs and administrative procedures.
  • The regulation reconciles considerations relating to the internal market (eliminating technical barriers to the transfer of ships between the registers of the EU countries) and requirements relating to maritime safety (high levels of ship safety and environmental protection). It recognises the appropriateness for the EU of the safety standards laid down in the conventions of the International Maritime Organization.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EC) No 789/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the Community and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 613/91 (OJ L 138, 30.4.2004, pp. 19-23)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 789/2004 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENT

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of Regulation (EC) no 789/2004 on the transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers in the Community (COM(2015) 195 final, 8.5.2015)

last update 29.05.2020

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