Proposal European Commision to strengthen criminal law

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new EU Directive to crack down on environmental crime by strengthening the protection of the environment through criminal law. The proposal intends to make protection of the environment more effective by obliging Member States to take criminal law measures.

Position ISRA
ISRA supports this proposal. It is a necessary “stick” to see that illegal ship recycling or transboundary exports of end of life ships are being dealt with more effectively.       

It defines new environmental crimes, sets a minimum level for sanctions and strengthens the effectiveness of law enforcement cooperation. It also obliges the Member States to support and assist people who report environmental offences and cooperate with the enforcement.

Main objectives of the proposal
The proposal sets new EU environmental criminal offences, illegal ship recycling.

The Commission proposes to set a common minimum denominator for sanctions for environmental crimes. Where offence cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury to any person, Member States have to provide at least for imprisonment of up to ten years. The proposal will help cross-border investigation and prosecution.

Relevant articles for ship recycling/exports of waste. 
Article 3
1. Member States shall ensure that the following conduct constitutes a criminal offence when it is unlawful and committed intentionally (….):

(f) the shipment of waste, within the meaning of Article 2(35) of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council 40 when such shipment is undertaken in a non-negligible quantity, whether executed in a single shipment or in several shipments which appear to be linked;

(g) the recycling of ships falling within the scope of Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council 41, without complying with the requirements of Article 6(2), point (a) of that Regulation;

Official title
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council  on the protection of the environment through criminal law and replacing Directive 2008/99/EC {SEC(2021) 428 final} – {SWD(2021) 465 final} – {SWD(2021) 466 final}