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Parlamento Europeo - 16 settembre 1992
Oil spills


Resolution on the environmental damage caused by oil spills from ships

The European Parliament,

-having regard to the motion for a resolution by Mr Martin on the environmental damage caused by oil spills from oil tankers (B3-0632/89),

-having regard to the report by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights (A3-0144/92),

A.whereas serious environmental damage is being caused by oil spills to the Baltic, the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and to the coastline of the Community,

B.having regard to Article 130r(2) of the EEC Treaty,

C.aware that it is essential to strike the right balance between measures that can be taken at world level (the International Maritime Organization) and those that are appropriate at regional level (the Community),

D.whereas a substantial proportion of the pollution of the sea with hydrocarbons is caused by pollution of the atmosphere,

1.Considers that measures must be drawn up by the Commission to reduce drastically the total quantities of oil that are discharged by ships into European waters, in particular by proposing to:

-promote a code of conduct for oil companies outlawing the cleaning of oil tanks at sea,

-increase the number of facilities for cleaning ships' oil tanks at ports,

-evaluate equipment for reducing operating discharges (such as the load-on-top procedure) with a view to recommending it subsequently);

2.Considers that rapid progress must be made with the introduction of a safety scheme for shipping. The scheme should be developed making full use of the results of projects set up under COST 301 and COST 311, and be supported by land-based back-up stations;

3.Calls upon the Commission immediately to institute a comprehensive aerial surveillance system for the coasts of the Community, similar to that which already exists for the English Channel and the North Sea, as the European Parliament has been demanding for a decade that it should;

4.Takes the view that it is expedient to prohibit the passage of oil tankers through sensitive and dangerous areas, such as the Bocche di Bonifacio (as requested in the petition to the President of the European Parliament signed by 50 000 residents of Sardinia and Corsica) and that a limit should be established for the number of accidental spills which, if exceeded, would put the company responsible for them out of the oil transporting business;

5.Asks the Commission to play an active and leading part in discussions within the International Maritime Organization with a view, in particular, to securing improved tanker safety standards;

6.Calls on the Commission to have EC standards drafted for the construction of ships designed to carry oil and other dangerous substances;

7.Asks the Commission to arrange for traffic separation schemes located just outside territorial waters to be brought under coastal state jurisdiction;

8.Asks the Commission to urge all coastal states within the Community to declare an Exclusive Economic Zone;

9.Calls on the Community, and on those Member States that have not already done so, to ratify the MARPOL Convention;

10.Asks the Commission to draw up a programme of financial aid that will enable developing countries to ratify the MARPOL Convention and implement it effectively;

11.Asks the Commission to assess the present arrangements in the different Member States for prosecuting ships that are caught dumping oil at sea illegally; considers that the level of fines is insufficient to deter illegal dumping; urges it to impose fines which are sufficient to cover in full the cost of repairing the environmental damage caused;

12.Invites the Commission to study the possibility of fitting oil tankers with double hulls and double bottoms;

13.Asks the Commission to continue its efforts and to take further action to reduce all types of oil emissions into the environment;

14.Asks the Commission to urge the governments of the Member States to ensure that adequate discharge facilities are provided at ports, in accordance with the obligations they have assumed by ratifying the MARPOL Convention;

15.Requests the Commission to coordinate studies of mandatory routes for supertankers which would compel them to keep their distance from coasts and from sensitive and dangerous areas, which would be enforced by means of land-based surveillance;

16.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

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