The European Parliament agrees by a majority to impose criminal sanctions to halt hydrocarbon dumping at sea

Oceana is now calling on the Council to fulfil its commitment and give the green light to this Directive.

Press Release Date: June 26, 2013

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: | tel.: Marta Madina

Oceana is delighted to report that today, Wednesday, the European Parliament plenary session approved by a large majority the text of the Directive presented by Dutch Euro MP Corien M. Wortmann-Kool in favour of imposing criminal sanctions on those responsible for dumping crude and used oils, washing out tanks and other hydrocarbon spillages at sea.

The draft Directive establishes that hydrocarbon dumping carried out either illegally or through negligence is an infraction that merits criminal sanctions, which could involve: 

  • heavy fines
  • the withdrawal of aid and subsidies
  • a ban on trading in Europe
  • and even prison sentences.

It is now in the hands of the Council of Ministers to give the final approval so that all EU countries can be equipped with the same legal instruments to combat the almost 90,000 illegal dumping incidents that take place each year in European waters, and prevent more than half a million tonnes of polluting hydrocarbons from being discharged in our waters.

Oceana, the international organisation for the defence of the seas, has been working for almost two years to achieve this result  and welcomes the decision of the European Parliament with great satisfaction.

We are now calling on the Council to fulfil its commitment  and give their final approval as soon as possible.