The current legislation states that ship-source polluting discharges constitute in principle a criminal offence and according to the Directive this relates to discharges of oil or other noxious substances from vessels. Minor discharges shall not automatically be considered as offences, except where their repetition leads to a deterioration in the quality of the water, including in the case of repeated discharges.
The persons responsible for discharging polluting substances may be subject to criminal penalties, if they have acted with intent, recklessly (action taken with the knowledge that it is likely to result in damage) or with serious negligence. The act of inciting, aiding and abetting a person to discharge a polluting substance may also lead to criminal penalties.
The Directive has been amended by Directive 2009/123/EC.
- EU Parliament and EU Council
- Date / journal vol no.
- Signed: 7 September 2005 Entered into force: 1 October 2005