Report regarding EU competences in IMO instruments

Jan 1, 2016 - Feb 15, 2016

The aim of this study is to revisit and evaluate the competence of the European Union (EU) and its Member States in subject matters governed by instruments adopted under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and to scrutinise the division of competence(s), as far as this is the case, on those subject matters.


Maritime Law


As part of the study and for the purposes of continuity, the T.M.C. Asser Instituut will first update and summarise the general parts of the previous report on ‘Competences of the European Union and the EU Member States in the IMO’ (dating 5 March 2013). The 2013 report was commissioned by and prepared for the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. By updating and summarizing the general findings of the 2013 report, the proposed study will first of all offer a state of the art general overview of the EU’s and EU Member States’ participation in the IMO from the perspective of external representation and competences. The general overview expands on the former report with a comprehensive update regarding, notably, relevant case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union in this area delivered since the 2013. In this manner, the study will review the doctrine and theory concerning shared and exclusive competences of the EU in IMO matters. Considering the nature of the question, this study will incorporate both EU Law and Jurisprudence as well as Public International Law. Secondly, the study will include two case studies, examining the aspects of representation and competences in the context of two specific IMO instruments, the Guidelines on Fatigue and the STCW-F Convention. More specifically, it will be investigated whether the EU has gained exclusive competences where issues regulated by the two aforementioned IMO instruments are concerned, or whether there still exists shared competences for the EU and its Member States in these particular issues. These two studies will be presented in the form of annexes in the report.