Criminal sanctions for ship pollution adopted

EU ministers will on Tuesday rubber stamp a deal making intentional, reckless or seriously negligent ship source pollution a criminal offence, following agreement between MEPs and national governments (EED 22/02/05). The linked directive and framework decision make it possible to levy fines of between €150,000 and €1.5m on polluting ships calling in EU ports. In most cases a prison sentence of up to five years could alternatively be imposed. The legislation goes further than the international UN and Marpol conventions. It will enter force in March 2007. See press release plus Q&A.

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