Quality Shipping: XXI Century Standard. Safety and Marine Environment Protection: Prospects We Face

The ongoing global recession keeps bringing its harsh changes to the prospects of the world’s shipping and shipbuilding. While its consequences are yet to be assessed, the international maritime community keeps on enhancing the standards of maritime safety and environmental protection.

The XII International Seminar Safety and Marine Environment Protection: Prospects We Face organized by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping took place in St. Petersburg on 21-22 October 2009. During the forum representatives of the international maritime community discussed the issues of maritime safety such as training and labour conditions, maritime security and environment protection.

In view of the global crisis the maritime industry is facing the necessity of a compromise between the demands of the global economy and requirements of maritime safety and environmental protection. As the participants to the Seminar unanimously agreed, the crisis should not be construed as a ground for decreasing attempts of the international maritime community in development and implementation of new advanced standards of safety and environmental protection.

Organization of the Seminar has been supported by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport and Federal Service for Transport Supervision. The Director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation Alexey Klyavin and the Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Transport Supervision Vladimir Popov addressed participants at the opening ceremony.

The Director General of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping Nikolay Reshetov has emphasized the significance of the issues to discuss. In his presentation Mr. Reshetov noted that the human factor remains overwhelmingly the general accident cause whilst the ISM Code is not used with top efficiency yet. The share of the human factor in the general list of causes of accidents and accident situations remains relatively constant for many years. “In the "man – ship" system, the "man" element continues to be not only unreliable, but unpredictable link as well”, said Mr. Reshetov.

The IMO activities in the field of air pollution prevention were highlighted by the Senior Deputy Director of the IMO Marine Environment Division Dachang Du. Despite the fact only 3.3% of the global anthropogenic CO2 emissions are caused by shipping, this factor may increase significantly due to the lack of CO2 emission limitation measures and given there are early actions in other industries.

“80% of the world trade is carried by sea”, said Marten Koopmans, the Permanent Representative of the European Commission to the IMO. “Society will demand more safety and environment protection from shipping and shipping will have to deliver this, also in hard times”, he added.

An example of successful development of the international environment protection standards is the adoption of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in May 2009. «The Convention has incorporated the experience and knowledge of hundreds of experts and we may fairly expect that, once globally applied, it shall result in steady reducing the percentage of risk of irreparable damage to the environment and human health», said Nikolay Reshetov. “This new international treaty is a logical completion of the range of IMO instruments now covering design, construction and operation of ships”, he added.

The Deputy General Secretary of Paris MOU on Port State Control Carien Dropper presented the results of Paris MoU activities: the average detention percentage appears to have stabilized over the past four years at around 5%. Improved risk based targeting and full coverage of ships visiting Paris MoU region will be achieved as result of the new inspection regime expected to be implemented in 2011.

The statistical data on ship control within another leading port state control regime – the US Coast Guard were submitted by the Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards of the US Coast Guard Jeffrey Lantz. The statistics shows a 17% increase in PSC safety and environmental protection detentions in 2008 compared to 2007. Mr. Lantz noted successful measures taken by the Russian Federation aimed at elimination of substandard shipping: none ships flying the Russian flag detained by the US Coast Guard in 2009.

Among the modern instruments of safety improvement are e-navigation and long-range identification and tracking system (LRIT system). The Head of the Maritime Safety Division of the Federal Minisry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs of Germany Mr. Klaus Grensemann has presented the new IMO concept of the development and implementation of an overall e-navigation strategy. ”E-navigation is defined as the harmonized collection, integration, exchange, presentation and analysis of maritime information onboard and ashore by electronic means to enhance berth-to-berth navigation and related services, for safety and security at sea and protection of the marine environment “, said Mr. Grensemann.

“Long-range identification and tracking system was developed as a tool to manage maritime security risk and incorporated into SOLAS. In addition to security it serves a range of potential safety and environmental functions. LRIT system functions well today and continues to evolve as IMO, SOLAS Parties and Coordinator plan for the future”, said the Regulatory Advisor to the Marshall Islands Registry Rear Admiral Robert C. North. “LRIT system gives certain advantages to a Flag Administration, a Port State, a Coastal State, such as: layout of higher security risk geographic areas worldwide, possibility to monitor coastal traffic for safety, security and environmental protection needs, to locate overdue ships, more effective management of port State control activity, including security risk assessment reducing risk of piracy attacks”, said Mr. North.

Simon Bennett, the Secretary of the International Chamber of Shipping, reported on the present piracy issues. “The current crisis in the waters off Somalia is especially acute, but we must not forget that seafarers are also being attacked in other places around the world such as the Niger Delta, and perennial hot spots in Asia”, he said. “Associations of the industry, including the International Chamber of Shipping are now taking steps to seek both short-term and long-term remedies to this situation.”

Among other issues discussed at the event:
• Cooperation of the Administration with classification societies (K. Roidis, Greece)
• Ensuring quality shipping (L. Dyerberg, Denmark)
• Challenges the Flag states face with regard to climate change (S. Serghiou, Cyprus)
• Port State Control in the UK (P. Dolby, the UK)
• Gulf of Finland Ship Reporting System (A. Maide, Estonia)
• Analysis and enforcement of the revised MARPOL Annex VI (E. Zacharevicius, Lithuania)
• The state of the tanker industry (E. Ranheim, INTERTANKO)
• Lay up – the P&I view (K. Lumbers, P&I)
• International labour standards in shipping (A. Natova, Bulgaria)
• Casualties at sea (M. Dermenzi, A. Gudz)
• Cooperation between educational institutions (V. Mikheev, I. Kostylev.)

The international seminars hosted by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping have already become a landmark for the Russian maritime community. At this forum, the Russian shipowners may get immediate information on the hottest industry’s items.

The Statement of the Participants and the Seminar proceedings will be soon available at the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping web site.

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS)

8, Dvortsovaya naberezhnaya, St.Petersburg, 191186, Russia

Phone: +7 (812) 380-20-72

E-mail: ponomareva.ea@rs-class.org

Go to Index of # 4(30) 2009


# 4(30), 2009

Emergency cases of pollution from tankers from 1974 to 2009

Emergency cases of pollution from tankers from 1974 to 2009