Ship-Source Pollution and the Introduction of Penalties for Infringements

A Legal Analysis of the Synergies and Contradictions between UNCLOS (1982), MARPOL (1973) and Directive 2005/35/EC


  • Konstantinos Saviolidis


The method of this study is based upon research of legal texts, International
Conventions, case studies and the Directive 2005/35/EC as amended by Directive
2009/123/EC on ship-source pollution. The analysis of the sources is
mostly qualitative within the context of examining synergies and contradictions
between the international and European law. The context on which the
theme topic is unfolded, lays upon the elements of international law of the sea
along with the provisions of marine environmental protection, with regard to
ship-source pollution, the sanctions and penalties imposed by the flag and the
coastal states, and, possible exemptions that may implemented by the European
In order to unfold the theme topic, an attempt will be made in the first part
so as to analyze the scope of Directive 2005/35/EC in the European legal context
and its implementation by the member states, exploring its general utility
on penalties and infringements for ship-source pollution. In the second
part, a further examination and cases’ analysis will be conducted with regard
to the synergies and contradictions between international and European law
with a focus to a critical examination of the provisions of UNCLOS and Directive
2005/35/EC, as well as of the provisions of MARPOL 73/78 and Directive
2005/35/EC respectively.
Also, arguments and legal opinions made by representatives of the shipping
industry will also be presented, on the tendency of not criminalizing
shipping operations in general with regard to accidental activities of shipsource