Waterborne transport is of crucial importance within the European Union. Almost 90% of the EU's external freight trade and 40% of the intra EU-exchanges of goods and passengers are carried by sea. 23 EU member states are coastal states and 26 are flag states. EU shipowners manage 30% of the world's vessels and 35% of the global shipping tonnage. Each year, more than 400 million passengers pass through more than a 1,000 European ports. The framework of the 'Erika Packages' has w added ather imperative regulatory level to the existing global legal regime of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and to national laws. The EU has reacted to severe marine casualties in EU waters. As a result, almost all aspects of maritime transport and shipping are w regulated by EU law. The Brussels Commentary on EU Maritime Law provides a comprehensive article-by-article analysis of the most relevant EU regulations and EU directives of the shipping sector.