Compromise plan on ship pollution sanctions

The EU's Irish presidency has made a fresh attempt to overcome an impasse over a draft law to make it a criminal offence for ships to pollute the sea. It was proposed a year ago in response to the Erika and Prestige disasters and will also implement an international treaty (EED 06/03/03). EU governments are torn over whether to remove a loophole exonerating shipowners if pollution is caused accidentally after damage to a ship. The presidency's new text attempts to walk a legal tightrope between the two camps. See compromise text and presidency note.

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