Fabian Demicoli

Consultation: Revision of the Marine Equipment Directive

 Background

Directive 96/98/EC on Marine Equipment was transposed into national Maltese legislation via two separate legal notices:

 

Legal Notice 241 of 2009, Conformity Assessment of Marine Equipment Regulations, which falls under the remit of the Malta Standards Authority and includes those provisions from the Directive relating to the placing on the market and placing on board of marine equipment, together with their applicable conformity assessment procedures;

Legal Notice 155 of 2004, as amended, Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations, which falls under the remit of the Malta Maritime Authority and includes those provisions from the Directive related to checking and inspection of equipment placed on board ships for which safety certificates are issued by or on behalf of the Government of Malta under international conventions.

Marine equipment falling under this Directive is divided into the following categories:

Life-saving appliances, such as  lifebuoys, lifejackets, flares, liferafts, lifeboats, embarkation ladders and searchlights;

Marine pollution prevention, such as oil-filtering equipment, oil-content meters and sewage systems;

Fire protection equipment, such as fire fighting outfits, fire doors, surface materials, floor coverings, upholstered furniture, fire hoses and alarm devices;

Navigation equipment, such as compasses, radars, GPS, SAR transponders and transmitting heading devices;

Radiocommunication equipment, such as VHF radio;

Equipment required under COLREG 72, such as navigation lights.

Directive 2010/68/EU amends Directive 96/98/EC only in terms conformity assessment procedures of equipment, meaning that only changes to LN 241/2009 are required. The new Legal Notice will not replace LN 241/2009, but will only replace the conformity assessment tables.

The changes will come into effect as from 10th December 2011.

KEY POINTS PROPOSED FOR REVISION

The ultimate aim is to enhance safety at sea and the prevention of marine pollution through the uniform application of the relevant international instruments relating to marine equipment to be placed on board ships for which safety certificates are issued by or on behalf of Member States pursuant to international conventions, and to ensure the free movement of such equipment within the Community. 

As explained above, only classification and conformity assessment procedures of equipment has been changed (Schedules Ia and Ib) due to update in testing standards and international maritime conventions. The draft text is attached to this document.

WHO WILL BE AFFECTED?   

Manufacturers, Authorised Representatives, Notified Bodies, Importers, Distributors and Users of Marine Equipment.

WHAT PRODUCTS WILL BE AFFECTED?   

Products considered as Marine Equipment as listed in Annex A of Directive 96/98/EC.

DEADLINES   

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