Why was the Ship Source Pollution Directive introduced by the EU?

The European Commission wanted to address the issue that while it was possible to prosecute deliberate spills of oil and noxious liquid substances (which are normally very small) under national law implementing MARPOL, the very big accidental spills, such as those from the tankers Erika and Prestige, were not open to prosecution because of the exceptions in MARPOL in respect of discharges resulting from damage to the ship.

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