A directive setting criminal penalties for the most serious cases of maritime pollution will enter force in mid-November following their publication in the EU's official journal on Tuesday. Member states have until 16 November 2010 to transpose them into national law
The rules oblige EU states to impose criminal charges for intentional, reckless or seriously negligent polluting discharges by ships. However they do not specify penalty levels. The rules replace a 2005 directive requiring penalties but not necessarily criminal charges.
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