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Call for Tougher Alcohol Limits

The German government wants to launch an initiative at the IMO for stricter rules pertaining to drinking on board merchant ships.

The Germans plan to submit its drinking proposal to the Maritime Safety Committee for a full ban on alcohol on ferries and hazardous materials carriers. They also want a maximum of 50 milliliters of alcohol per liter of blood for mariner sailing all other ships. The Germans want the IMO to include the regulations in the STCW-95 code or the SOLAS chapters V and IX.

The Germans have also commissioned a formal safety assessment study to review the benefits of stricter alcohol policies in shipping, which will be turned over to the IMO.

The German parliament adopted strict limits regarding alcohol and shipping within its territorial waters two months ago, after an accident involving the "Ena 2," which capsized with a cargo of sulphuric acid in the Port of Hamburg. The Master was found to have an alcohol level of 219 milliliters in his blood.