In recent years, transport activities have radically increased due to globalisation, growth in wealth and freedom of movement. The shipping industry has responded to increased needs by providing flexible operations using new types of ships, equipped with novel technologies, materials and propulsion systems. Furthermore, services have been extended to new geographical areas including locations in and around populated cities. Naturally such services, in addition to the benefits, create various types of problems including noise pollution. This issue has been addressed at the European as well as the IMO (International Maritime Organization) level with the introduction of new/revised standards and limitations on noise. These statutory standards are also applicable to ships for the well-being of crew, commuters, as well as residents living around ship passageways and harbours. This paper focuses on the welfare and performance of seagoing crew working in various locations in the ships. Noise measurements carried out onboard six chemical tankers are presented and examined within the context of the IMO regulation A468 (XII) as well as the EU Directive 2003/10/EC concerning noise. After discussing the basic aspects of noise exposure, the paper investigates the differences between the EU and IMO standards and their effect on crew.