Modern ships are by far the safest and most environment friendly means of transportation. Short sea and inland waterway shipping hold the greatest potential for expansion and therefore can significantly contribute to meet the challenges of future transportation needs.

With today’s technology, modern ships are designed and built to safely withstand the severest weather.

However, for some shiptypes, strong cost pressures due to over-capacities have created a trend in the shipping and shipbuilding market to reduce construction and operating costs, which negatively impact the life-span of vessels, making them increasingly vulnerable with growing age, in particular if insufficiently maintained. The sinking of ships such as the "ERIKA" in 1999 or the "PRESTIGE" in 2002 and the ecological disasters they have caused could have been avoided with proper maintenance, undertaken by reliable yards.

Therefore, CESA supports the reinforcement of maritime safety requirements, preferably at world-wide level, to ensure safer ships, to minimise crew loss and to protect the marine environment.