The Commission launched the “Cooperation Group on Places of Refuge”, a forum for Member State authorities dealing with ships in need of assistance. The group met in Brussels on Friday 15 March for the first time, with the participation of more than 20 Member States and EFTA countries, as well as representatives of the Commission and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The group will consider last year’s accident involving an explosion and subsequent fire on the container ship ‘MSC Flaminia’ in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The cooperation group will look into the implementation of current EU legislation and offer clarifications and guidance on existing provisions. If need be, the group will also advise or make recommendations for a revision of the relevant EU directive regarding “places of refuge”.

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