Documents considered by the Committee on 1 March 2017 Contents

14Passenger ship safety

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Cleared from scrutiny

Document details

Proposed Directive about registration of persons sailing on board passenger ships operating to or from ports of the Member States and reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States

Legal base

Article 100(2) TFEU; ordinary legislative procedure; QMV

Department

Transport

Document Number

(37833), 9964/16 + ADDs 1–2, COM(16) 370

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

14.1In June 2016 the Commission proposed, as part of a Passenger Ship Safety Package, a Directive to amend legislation about registration of persons on passenger ships operating to or from EU ports and reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from EU ports. We last considered this proposal in November 2016 when we heard from the Government that Council consideration of it had only just begun. So, we retained the document under scrutiny, pending information on developments in its negotiation. We reminded the Government that we wanted particularly to hear about the issue of the practicality of using Automatic Identification Systems for recording passenger numbers.

14.2The Government tells us now that:

14.3When, in July 2016, we first considered this proposed amending Directive we noted its potential utility in simplifying the legislation concerning these aspects of passenger ship safety. Given the satisfactory improvements to the proposal the Government now reports, we clear the document from scrutiny.

Full details of the document

Proposed Directive amending Council Directive 98/41/EC on the registration of persons sailing on board passenger ships operating to or from ports of the Member States of the Community and amending Directive 2010/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports of the Member States: (37833), 9964/16 + ADDs 1–2, COM(16) 370.

Background

14.4In June 2016 the Commission published three proposed amending Directives, its Passenger Ship Safety Package, which aimed to simplify and streamline the existing EU passenger ship safety legislation. When, in July 2016, we considered these proposals the Government, commented positively on aspects of the present proposals, but said that it was considering its position on the details and drew our attention to a number of issues it had already identified as needing further consideration. We recognised the potential utility of these simplification proposals. In November 2016, having heard that the December 2016 Transport Council was expected to agree a General Approach on two of the proposals, concerning safety rules and standards for passenger ships and Port State Control inspections, which would very largely meet UK concerns, we cleared these documents from scrutiny.88

14.5As for this draft amending Directive, the third proposal, concerning registration of persons and reporting formalities, the Government told us that Working Party discussion had only just begun and that there was nothing yet of significance to report. So, we retained this document under scrutiny, pending information on developments in its negotiation. We reminded the Government that that information should cover the issue of the practicality of using Automatic Identification Systems for recording passenger numbers.

The Minister’s letter of 28 February 2017

14.6The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr John Hayes), first reminds us that the Government broadly welcomed the proposed simplification measures in the Passenger Ship Safety Package, albeit having some concerns to be addressed during negotiation. He then tells us that:

14.7The Minister explains that:

14.8The Minister continues that at the 8 February 2017 Working Party, the UK and its allies were successful in protecting these smaller ship operators through three key means. He says that the Government has:

14.9The Minister comments that:

14.10The Minister says that:

14.11Turning to the practicality of using Automatic Identification Systems for recording passenger numbers, the Minister says that:

14.12Finally, the Minister tells us that:

Previous Committee Reports

Eighteenth Report HC 71-xvi (2016–17), chapter 7 (16 November 2016) and Eighth Report HC 71-vi (2016–17), chapter 9 (13 July 2016).


88 (37832), 9953/16 + ADDs 1–2, (37834), 9965/16 + ADDs 1–3: see Eighteenth Report HC 71-xvi (2016–17), chapter 7 (16 November 2016) and Eighth Report HC 71–vi (2016–17), chapter 9 (13 July 2016).

89 The UK does not have formally defined protected sea areas, however the Government has used this reference for the waters inside the Isles of Scilly for other exemptions. These would be deemed as areas sheltered from prevailing sea effects where the proximity of search and rescue facilities is assured. In the EU these would include areas which in the UK would be defined as Category C or D waters, such as the Thames estuary or the Solent: see also footnote 90.

90 UK categorised waters are those not regarded as ‘sea’ for the purposes of merchant shipping legislation. There are four categories, A-D, which are defined at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/563028/MSN1837.pdf.




3 March 2017