The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have published Regulation (EU) No. 1726/2003 that will amend previous single-hull tanker phase-out regulations and accelerate the phase-in of double-hulled oil tankers. The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) intends to meet in December, 2003 to faciliate the ban on single-hull oil tankers carrying heavy grades of oil.
The EU determined that in the wake of the "Prestige" incident, heavy grade oils should only be transported in double-hull tankers. Furthermore, all oil tankers more than 15 years of age, regardless of design, must now have a certified condition assessment.
Additionally, the EU has also targeted freighters and container ships because many of these ships' bunkers often exceed the cargoes of smaller oil tankers. The Commission will submit a proposal to the EU Parliament that new freighters and container ships' bunker oils be stored in safe, double-walled tanks.