The European Commission has produced a detailed legal explanation of its right to coordinate the European Union‘s position in IMO ahead of submissions on the carriage of non-compliant fuel and inspections of bulk carriers.
In a proposal for a Council Decision (see attachment), the Commission seeks to justify claims of EU competence over amendments to be discussed in forthcoming meetings of the IMO’s marine environment protection committee and maritime safety committee.
The amendments concern Marpol and the ban on carriage of non-compliant, high sulphur fuel in 2020, when global low-sulphur limits kick it, as well as the International Code on the Enhanced Programme of Inspections During Surveys of Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers.
The justification for a coordinated EU position in IMO dates back to the Lisbon Treaty, though the Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport has until now not shown any hast in implementing the principle in London. A number of EU governments are unwilling to let the Commission have a bigger say, despite European Court of justice rulings that support the bureaucracy’s position.