The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is a European Union agency charged with reducing the risk of maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships and the loss of human lives at sea by helping to enforce the pertinent EU legislation. It is headquartered in Lisbon.
EMSA has the following mission:
In doing so, EMSA closely cooperates with the Member States' maritime services.
EMSA was founded in 2002, after the EU adopted substantial packages of legislation relating to maritime security in the wake of major shipping disasters in European waters, such as those involving the ferry Estonia and the oil tankers Erika and Prestige. It was felt that a specialised technical agency was necessary to overview the enforcement of this legislation and help in its implementation.
EMSA is headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, and moved in June 2009 to new, purpose-built premises near Cais do Sodré in central Lisbon. It has a staff of just under 200 and operates a small network (at the end of 2009, 16 vessels) of stand-by oil recovery vessels contracted from the commercial sector, designed to provide top-up capacity to Member States' own response resources. Its Executive Director, since 2012, is Markku Mylly from Finland. The 2008 budget for EMSA was just over EUR 50,000,000, of which over a third, EUR 18,000,000 is specifically used for at sea pollution response tasks.
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