Characteristics for EU fishing vessels
Regulation (EU) 2017/1130 — EU fishing vessel standards
It sets out the definitions of the technical characteristics of EU fishing vessels.
It revises and repeals Regulation (EEC) No 2930/86 in line with the EU’s commitment to simplifying and clarifying EU law.
The regulation sets standards for the length, the breadth, the tonnage, the engine power and the date of entry into service for fishing vessels in the EU.
These definitions are in line with those contained in the following international conventions:
the United Nations Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas, 1958;
the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969;
the International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977.
Length of a vessel — the length overall, defined as the distance in a straight line between the foremost point of the bow and the aftermost point of the stern. The length overall is measured in metres with an accuracy of two decimals.
Breadth of a vessel — the maximum breadth as defined in Annex I to the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships. The overall breadth is measured in metres with an accuracy of two decimals.
Gross tonnage of fishing vessels with a length overall equal to, or greater than, 15 metres is measured as specified in Annex I to the International Convention on
Tonnage Measurement of Ships.
Gross tonnage of fishing vessels with a length overall of less than 15 metres is measured in accordance with the formula set out in Annex I to this regulation.
Engine power is the total of the maximum continuous power which can be obtained at the flywheel of each engine and which can, by mechanical, electrical, hydraulic or other means, be applied to vessel propulsion. However, where a gearbox is incorporated into the engine, the power is measured at the gearbox output flange. No deduction can be made in respect of auxiliary machines driven by the engine. The unit in which engine power is expressed shall be the kilowatt (kW).
Continuous engine power is determined in accordance with the requirements adopted by the International Organisation for Standardisation in its recommended International Standard ISO 3046/1, second edition, October 1981. The European Commission may adopt delegated acts to adapt the reference to the relevant ISO International Standard setting out the requirements for the determination of the continuous engine power to technical progress.
Date of entry into service is the date of the first issue of an official safety certificate. However, it may be the date of the first entry in an official register of fishing vessels:
if an official safety certificate is not issued; or
in the case of fishing vessels which entered into service before 1 December 1986.
Regulation (EU) 2017/1130 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 defining characteristics for fishing vessels (recast) (OJ L 169, 30.6.2017, pp. 1-7)It has applied since 20 July 2017. Regulation (EU) 2017/1130 revised and replaced Regulation (EEC) No 2930/86 (and its subsequent amendments).
Council Regulation (EEC) No 2930/86 of 22 September 1986 defining characteristics for fishing vessels (OJ L 274, 25.9.1986, pp. 1-2)
Successive amendments to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2930/86 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only
Making fishing at sea a safer profession
Decision (EU) 2015/799 authorising EU countries to become party to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel
It authorises EU countries to become party to the 1995 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), which came into force in 2012.
The STCW-F International Convention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sets out minimum standards for training, certification and watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel.
Eligible EU countries not currently party to the Convention should accede to it ‘within a reasonable time’, if possible before 23 May 2017.
Only those EU countries which have fishing vessels (generally more than 24 metres in length), ports used by them, or training institutions for seafarers are bound by this requirement.
The Convention gives IMO powers to check on government actions, and EU countries have to submit information about compliance, particularly in relation to the recognition of seafarers’ certificates of competency.
The European Commission will present a report to the Council reviewing the progress EU countries are making towards accession by 23 May 2018.
EU countries should do what they can to ensure compatibility between the Convention and EU law.
Non-EU countries should be encouraged to join the Convention.
Fishing at sea is one of the most hazardous professions, and therefore appropriate training and qualifications are seen as essential to reduce the number of accidents.
The STCW-F Convention was the first to establish basic requirements on training, certification and watchkeeping for fishing vessel personnel on an international level. Previously, standards had been established by individual governments, often without reference to practices in other countries. As a result standards and procedures varied widely.
The STCW-F Convention is currently being reviewed with the aim of modernising its regulation, reflecting the current situation in the fishing industry and promoting the accession of more countries. The review would also align the structure of the Convention to that of the pre-existing International Convention on
Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW).
Council Decision (EU) 2015/799 of 18 May 2015 authorising Member States to become party, in the interest of the European Union, to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, of the International Maritime Organisation (OJ L 127, 22.5.2015, pp. 20-21)
Fishing vessels — health and safety of workers on board
Directive 93/103/EC — minimum safety and health requirements for work on board fishing vessels
It outlines measures and responsibilities intended to improve health and safety on board fishing vessels.
Owners of fishing vessels must ensure that their use does not endanger the safety and health of workers, considering foreseeable weather conditions. Under the terms of Directive 89/391/EEC, they must also consider any hazards faced by remaining workers when their co-workers leave their workstations to respond to dangerous situations.
New fishing vessels and major repairs and alterations to existing vessels had to comply with minimum safety and health requirements by 23 November 1995, while existing vessels had a further 7 years to comply.
Any occurrences at sea affecting the safety and health of the workers on board must be reported to the relevant authorities and in the ship’s log.
EU countries must ensure that vessels are checked regularly by specifically empowered authorities to ensure compliance with the directive.
Owners must ensure that vessels and their fittings and equipment are clean and well-maintained and must follow the detailed requirements listed in the annexes to the directive in the following areas:
seaworthiness and stability;
mechanical and electrical installations;
emergency routes and exits;
fire detection and fire fighting;
ventilation of enclosed workplaces;
temperature of working areas;
natural and artificial lighting of workplaces;
decks, bulkheads and deckheads;
traffic routes — danger areas;
layout of workstations;
accommodation ladders and gangways;
Adequate and suitable emergency and survival equipment should be kept on board.
Training and consultation
Workers should be kept informed of all health and safety measures and should be appropriately trained, in particular in accident prevention and the use of life-saving and survival equipment. Anybody likely to be in command should be additionally trained in the prevention of occupational illness and accidents, the stability and maintenance of the vessel under all foreseeable operational conditions, and radio navigation and communication.
Workers, or their representatives, should be consulted on safety and health measures in accordance with Directive 89/391/EEC. Representatives should be given the means to carry out these activities, including time off without loss of pay, and must not be penalised because of them. They must also have the opportunity to submit their observations during inspection visits under the worker participation terms outlined in Directive 89/391/EEC.
EU countries must report to the European Commission every 5 years on the practical implementation of the directive, including the points of view of employers and workers.
A 2009 report from the Commission assesses practical implementation of this directive, as well as the 1992 directive on the minimum safety and health requirements for improved medical treatment on board vessels.
For more information, see:
‘Directive 93/103/EC — work on board fishing vessels’ on the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work’s websiteIt has applied since 2 January 1994. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 23 November 1995.
Council Directive 93/103/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for work on board fishing vessels (thirteenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) (OJ L 307, 13.12.1993, pp. 1–17)
Successive amendments to Directive 93/103/EC have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, pp. 1–8)
See consolidated version
Council Directive 92/29/EEC of 31 March 1992 on the minimum safety and health requirements for improved medical treatment on board vessels (OJ L 113, 30.4.1992, pp. 19–36)
Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the practical implementation of Health and Safety at Work Directives 93/103/EC (fishing vessels) and 92/29/EEC (medical treatment on board vessels) (COM(2009) 599 final of 29.10.2009)
Medical treatment on board vessels
Seagoing vessels are workplaces which, because of geographical isolation, present heightened risks to the safety and health of workers on board. Vessels should have adequate facilities, regularly checked, so that workers can obtain the necessary medical treatment at sea.
Council Directive 92/29/EEC of 31 March 1992 on the minimum safety and health requirements for improved medical treatment on board vessels
It aims to ensure minimum safety and health systems are in place to improve medical treatment on board vessels.
Each EU country should ensure that vessels registered in that country, or flying its flag, carries medical supplies. The detailed requirements depend on the category of vessel and the details listed in the annexes to the directive. In addition:
every vessel should carry a watertight medicine chest for each of its lifeboats;
every vessel of more than 500 gross tonnes, with a crew of 15 or more, on a voyage of more than three days, must have a suitable sick bay in which medical treatment can be given;.
every vessel with a crew of 100 or more on an international voyage of more than three days must have a doctor on board.
Any vessel transporting dangerous substances must carry appropriate antidotes. Ferries must in any case carry a minimum of antidotes (as outlined in Annex II) to allow for the fact that the carrying of dangerous substances may not be known in advance unless the regular crossing is under two hours. All available antidotes must be detailed on a checklist.
The owner is responsible for providing the medical supplies. The captain, or a delegated representative, is responsible for the management of supplies, which must be kept in good condition and replenished systematically at the owner’s sole expense.
The medical supplies must be accompanied by instructions as to their use, including information relating to the use of the required antidotes.
Professional maritime training must include basic first response medical training in the event of an accident or serious medical emergency. The captain, or the delegated worker responsible for medical supplies, must receive special training at least every five years.
Centres must be designated to provide workers with free medical advice by radio, including from doctors trained in the special conditions prevailing on board ship.
EU countries must ensure that annual inspections are carried out to check that medical supplies comply with the directive.
Directive 92/29/EEC It came into force on 10 April 1992.
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003
Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008