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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 5 Apr 1979

Vol. 313 No. 8

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - EEC Directive on Oil Tankers.


asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport if the Government have implemented the EEC Directive of December 1978 on the conditions to be met by oil tankers approaching and leaving our ports, thus safeguarding our ports in the event of the entry of substandard tankers.


andMr. O'Donnell asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport the nature and implications for Ireland of the directive on tanker safety recently agreed by the EEC.

I propose, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to take Questions Nos. 13 and 14 together.

Council Directive (79/116/EEC) adopted by the Council on 21 December 1978 lays down certain minimum requirements for certain tankers entering or leaving Community ports, or traversing territorial waters adjacent to ports of entry or departure. The directive covers oil, gas and chemical tankers of 1,600 gross registered tons and over and under its provisions member states are required to make arrangements to ensure that tankers notify certain information to competent national authorities in advance of entering a Community part. Such information includes, inter alia, nature and quantity of cargo, the name, call-sign and nationality of the vessel, and so on. Tankers traversing territorial waters adjacent to a port of entry or departure are required, inter alia, to establish radio communication with coastal radio stations, to make use of radar and of pilots.

The directive also requires tankers to complete a tanker checklist for the pilot and competent national authority if so requested and imposes an obligation on member states to inform one another of risks. The directive arises from a series of recent initiatives by the Community in the marine environment sphere.

In practice, many of the requirements of the directive are already complied with by vessels entering or leaving Irish ports. Such measures as may be necessary to meet the requirements of the directive will be taken in good time to meet the required implementation date of 1 January 1980.

Could the Minister give any indication of the staff required to implement the EEC Directive and as to whether action has been taken by his Department to provide and train such staff?

If the Deputy puts down a question I will answer it.

Does the Minister feel that his Department will be in a position to meet all the requirements of this directive by 1980? Presumably he has some indication in his brief as to the staff implications.

The Deputy is aware that we have enlarged on the staff in this section over the last year.

Has he the staff necessary to meet the target in 1980?