Passenger Ship Safety Guidance

EU Passenger Ship Safety Legislation
 
The most extensive EU legislative instrument is Directive 2009/45/EC covering passenger ships made of steel or equivalent material and high-speed craft on domestic voyages.  Where applicable and feasible, it is based on internationally agreed standards, namely the Interntional Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), establishing detailed technical requirements on vessel construction, stability, fire protection and life-saving equipment.  It also includes specific access and public information requirements for persons with reduced mobility or disabilities.
 
This Directive applies to the following passenger ships and craft, regardless of their flag, when engaged on domestic voyages:
 
(a) new and existing passenger ships of 24 metres in length and above;
(b) high-speed passenger craft.
 
 The Directive does not apply to:
 
(a) passenger ships which are: (i) ships of war and troopships; (ii) sailing ships; (iii) ships not propelled by mechanical means; (iv) vessels constructed in material other than steel or equivalent and not covered by the standards concerning High Speed Craft (Resolution MSC 36(63) or MSC.97(73)) or Dynamically Supported Craft (Resolution A.373(X)); (v) wooden ships of primitive built; (vi) traditional ships; (vii) pleasure yachts; (viii) ships exclusively engaged in port areas; (ix) offshore service ships; or (x) tenders;
 
(b) high-speed passenger craft which are: (i) craft of war and troopcraft; (ii) pleasure craft; (iii) craft exclusively engaged in port areas; or (iv) offshore service craft.
 
All terms used above and hereunder are defined in the Directive as amended.
 
The Directive and its amendments, together with further information, can be accessed through the following links:
 
 
Categorisation of sea areas and classes of passenger ships
 
In terms of Directive (EU) 2017/2108, amending Directive 2009/45/EC, sea areas have been divided into the following categories:
 
"Area A"   |   means a sea area outside of areas B, C and D.
 
"Area B"   |   means a sea area, whose geographical coordinates are at no point more than 20 miles from the line of coast, correspoinding to the medium tide height, but which is outside of areas C and D.
 
"Area C"   |   means a sea area, whose geographical coordinates are at any point in time no more than 5 miles from the line of coast, corresponding to the medium tide height, but outside of sea area D if any.  Additionally, the probability of the significant wave height exceeding 2,5 metres shall be smaller than 10% for a period of one year for all-round operation, or for a specific period for seasonal operation, such as summer period operation.
 
"Area D"   |   means a sea area, whose geographical coordinates are at any point in time no more than 3 miles from the line of coast, corresponding to the medium tide height.  Additionally, the probability of the significant wave height exceeding 1,5 metres shall be smaller than 10% for a period of one year for all-round operation, or for a specific period for seasonal operation, such as summer period operation.
 
In terms of Directive (EU) 2017/2108, amending Directive 2009/45/EC, passenger ships are divided into the following classes according to the sea area in which they may operate:
 
"Class A"   |   means a passenger ship engaged on domestic voyages in Areas A, B, C and D.
 
"Class B"   |   means a passenger ship engaged on domestic voyages in Areas B, C and D.
 
"Class C"   |   means a passenger ship engaged on domestic voyages in Areas C and D.
 
"Class D"   |   means a passenger ship engaged on domestic voyages in Area D.
 
For high-speed passenger craft, the categories defined in Chapter 1 (1.4.10) and (1.4.11) of the 1994 High Speed Craft Code, or Chapter 1 (1.4.12) and (1.4.13) of the 2000 High-Speed Craft Code shall apply.
 
The sea areas of Malta for passenger ships engaged on domestic voyages are found on the following links:
 
 
Other useful information: