Spain Taken to Court for Inadequate Port Security

The European Commission is taking action against Spain before the Court of Justice of the European Union, because 20 Spanish ports have failed to adopt and implement a port security plan by the December 2013 deadline.

The main objective of the European port security policy is to provide protection for ships and port facilities, as part of the maritime link in the transport logistics chain, against the risk of attacks and terrorism. The security directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security aims to guarantee uniformly high levels of security in all European ports, in particular by implementing a port security plan laying down provisions for ensuring port security

The EU has asked Spain as well as other member states with the greatest delays in meeting their obligations, to prepare national action plans with precise time-frames for conducting assessments and drawing up port security plans. Spain launched such a plan, but the EC said that despite “significant” efforts, local authorities still need to adopt about 20 port security plans. As a result, the commission has brought Spain before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The commission said it may request that the court impose financial penalties on member states that fail to implement directories within an agreed-upon deadline. If the member state still fails to act, the commission may open another infringement case and again propose financial penalties, including either a lump sum or a daily penalty payment for each day after the second court ruling until the infringement ends.

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