An attempt was made to define a new crack interaction criterion for pressurized cylinders with two co-planar surface cracks. Elastic-plastic finite element method with line spring concept (line spring element method) was used to verify the validity of the new interaction criterion and to establish the relative conservatism built into various codes/standards. The crack interaction criteria of two co-planar surface cracks as defined by ASME Section XI and BS PD6493 were studied and a new interaction criterion which accounts for crack shape and load factor was introduced. The basic idea behind the crack interaction criteria for co-planar surface cracks was the plastic zone and stress interaction near crack tips. To verify the new crack interaction criterion, comparisons of J -integral values were made for various crack sizes with different distances between cracks and loading conditions. Based upon these comparisons, the new crack interaction criteria, comparing a physical distance, s , to a characteristic distance d =(σ/σy )2 (c 1 Q 1 + c 2 Q 2 ), proved to be a reasonable parameter for indication of the crack driving force interaction for co-planar cracks. The characteristic distance also represents a rigorous measure of an equivalent crack driving force for interacting cracks.