Verification of the implementation of the EU maritime safety and security legislation remains an essential task and the Agency. There are several reasons for verifying how this legislation is implemented in practice, including: detecting gaps in the overall safety system; promoting a harmonised approach across the European Union; and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the measures in place.
Inspections are carried out on the basis of separate EU legal acts relating to the relevant area (standards for seafarers, maritime security, recognised organisations). The formula of the inspections depends on the area of activity. Three main types can be distinguished:
- MONITORING OF RECOGNISED ORGANISATIONS AND STANDARDS FOR SEAFARERS: The Commission has been entrusted with an assessment task by EU legislation and has delegated the conduct of inspections to the Agency: this is for example the case of the inspection of Recognised Organisations and of the inspection of the maritime education, training and certification systems for seafarers in third countries on behalf of the EU Member States (STCW).
- MARITIME SECURITY: In the field of maritime security the Agency has been given the task of assisting the Commission with its inspections of Member States under Regulation (EC) No 725/2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security. The Agency supports the Commission with the inspection of national administrations responsible for ship security, port facilities, ships, shipping companies and Recognised Security Organisations.
Inspections are carried out by way of document reviews, verification of facilities, staff interviews and examining files on a sampling basis. A 'top-down' approach is applied throughout, beginning with the central competent authority, and then to designated authorities at national, regional and local authorities as well as other relevant institutions.