Every year around 2 000 containers are lost overboard in EU waters. This is a significant potential risk for shipping. These containers are a danger to shipping because they do not necessarily sink, but may float near the surface, where they can be difficult to spot. They have the potential to pollute the sea with both toxic and non-toxic materials and local authorities face high costs in removing them. In addition, the lost containers can, under certain circumstances, pose a threat to human lives.
In view of the growing volume of freight traffic and the diminishing space available to shipping as a result of the spread of maritime wind farms, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure the safety of shipping and to provide for accidents and emergencies.
An investigation by KIMO International in the port of Rotterdam showed that 43 % of the ships inspected did not meet the technical requirements for securing their cargo.
Has the European Commission taken any steps to ensure safety at sea in this problematic area since the oral question dated 21 October 2010 (O‑0115/2010(1))?
Are EU rules and efforts in place to improve the worldwide standards for securing cargo on container ships?
Has anything been done to conclude a compensation agreement for non-toxic substances, so that Member States and coastal communities do not have to absorb the possibly exorbitant costs of pursuing compensation for clean-up operations through the courts?