Shipping accidents happen. And when they do, accident investigation can help identify problems, and to learn lessons that may prevent accidents in future. EMSA manages the EU's EMCIP database for sharing marine accident investigation information, and is helping to improve standards in accident investigation across coastal states. EMSA publishes also an Annual Overview of Marine Casualties and Incidents.
EMSA provides technical, operational and scientific advice and assistance to the European Commission and the Member States in the field of Marine Environment, covering all the development, implementation and enforcement of European and International legislation.
EMSA has also been given tasks to ensure, as far as possible, that marine equipment on EU flagged ships is designed and constructed to appropriate standards. In addition to improving safety, it is also expected that constructing equipment to higher standards will improve the competitiveness of the EU ship building industry.
EMSA has been tasked by the European Commission to develop and maintain on a public website the information on inspections, detentions and refusals of access.
Thetis, the information system developed by EMSA in cooperation with Member States and the European Commission, provides the mentioned information.
The monitoring of the work of IMO in the field of ship safety standards, including the reporting on developments in the relevant international legislation is part of the agency tasks. . Currently the agency notably focuses on damage stability of ro-ro passenger vessels, for which the majority of the world fleet flies EU Member State flags and sails in EU waters, but also potential issues on other passenger ships.
EMSA 'inspects the inspectors' of classification societies, assesses Port State Control systems, tracks problem ships, and safeguards the standards of on-board equipment.