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Safety Rules for historical Ships

In October this year new safety rules for historical ships on Europe’s inland waters will enter into force. It is a major step in the right direction. It first of all is the recognition of the fact that historical ships exist, are operational, deserve a future as operational ships and therefore need to be addressed by modern safety regulations. EMH has invested heavily in getting a chapter for historical ships in European law and keep them from forcefully being phased out.

The new chapter for historical ships will be included in ES—TRIN 2017. The new rules will apply to ships that fall within the scope of Directive 2006/87/ec.

The idea is firstly that a (restoration plan for a) ship must be judged by a national independent expert as a traditional ship. A traditional under the directive does not have to comply with all technical requirements for passenger ships or ships above 20 meters, but only for as far as possible. The technical requirements the ship cannot comply with without doing harm to the historical character of the ship, must be compensated for by equivalent technical or operational measurements to accomplish the same level of safety.
The next step is that European Member States must appoint national independent experts on historical ships that are assigned to judge whether ships or plans for ships can be seen as historical ships under the directive. Once the new rules have entered in to force, ship owners must present their plans to their national authorities. EMH invites all ship owners to share information on new projects and attempts to bring historical ships under the European Directive.

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