Erika III has been passed. The law package approved in the European Parliament provides for a permanent blacklist for unsafe vessels, investigation requirements and compensation for passengers involved in accidents at sea.
The member who guided the legislation through parliament said the time wasted by political authorities in the 2002 Prestige disaster showed the system was inadequate. Erika III sets compensation for lost or damaged luggage at 2,587 euros, and a passenger’s serious injury or death incurs 287,500 euros in compensation — or 460,000 euros if the transporter is proven to be negligent. EU governments and shipping interests have fought against tougher laws — the Erika I and II packages. The EU took steps to improve maritime safety after the rusting oil tanker Erika broke apart in heavy seas off the coast of France in 1999, with disastrous consequences for the environment. Under the latest regime, ships repeatedly breaking EU safety rules can be banned.