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Kallas: EU passenger ship safety law to take Concordia lessons fully into account

Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for Transport
Siim Kallas, European commissioner for transport, has asked that the currently ongoing review of EU passenger ship safety legislation take fully into account any lessons to be learnt from the Costa Concordia tragedy.

Vice president Kallas outlined the Commission's position to the European Parliament's Transport Committee yesterday in Brussels.

Kallas has written to Italian Transport Minister Corrado Passera to express his condolences about the tragic accident and loss of life and to offer the support of the services under his responsibility.

‘We will ensure that any lessons from the Costa Concordia are fully taken into account in the already ongoing review of EU passenger ship safety law,’ he said.

Kallas pointed out that the rules of stability of vessels after suffering damage or after a collision, passenger registration and evacuation procedures are under consideration.

The commissioner will meet with cruise industry representatives at the end of January to receive their first-hand assessment and commitment for the ongoing review.

Kallas also called upon member states to ratify without delay the latest update of the international convention for liability of carriers by sea and the compensation of passengers in case of accidents (Athens Convention), in order to advance its entry into force.

New EU rules giving passengers the right to claim up to €21,000 will enter into force on January 1, 2013.

Victims of the Costa Concordia disaster will have to pursue their claims following Italian legal procedures, the commissioner said.