Age limit on passenger ships to be scrapped

Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis indicated yesterday that the new government may scrap age limits on passenger ships, saying that age was not the most important indicator of safety. There has long been an age limit of 35 years for passenger ships. The previous government, in a 2001 law deregulating the domestic passenger shipping market, reduced the limit to 30 years, beginning in 2008. This had infuriated passenger-shipping firms, which have petitioned the European Commission and filed complaints with the European court. Kefaloyiannis said there was no reason for Greece to be the only European Union member state to impose age limits on its ships. The most important issue, he said, was to implement the rules of safety. «We want to harmonize our legislation with what is enforced in the EU,» Kefaloyiannis said.

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