Protectionism hits danish ships abroad

Protectionism hits danish ships abroad

18-01-2018 10:00:00

Specific National safety requirements for ships, that sail to ports abroad are making it difficult for Danish ships to be allowed work in foreign ports. Danish shipping companies are seeking a common international regulatory situation to ensure competition for Danish ships abroad.

"When the rules are similar and the port state control requires a inspection of the ship, but often do not find it necessary to make greater safety requirements for the ships, it is a common assumption that there may be a protectionist agenda behind this approach," says Søren Enemark, chief consultant in Danish shipping companies.

Small high-speed vessels with under 500 tonnages, often used to service wind turbines, are not covered by common international rules and regulations due to their size. The ships are therefore approved according to Danish regulations, similar to those in other countries around the North Sea.

For the vessels that have an Industrial Personnel (IP) onboard - a person who is neither a passenger nor a crewmember, as for example a wind turbine engineer who has undergone a medical check and taken a seafaring course - there are currently only national rules in individual countries, which, however, are very alike.

The Danish ship industry are seeking a single international regulatory framework for the IP vessels, as it will solve the requirement for national approvals in the port states from which the ships work. The shipping company will not be subject to different distinct national requirements if an international regulatory system is created.

However, the majority of the IMO countries state that the new rules should only apply to ships with over 500 tonnages. This is a problem, Danske Rederier believes.

"International rules for IP ships will create better uniform market access. There is no doubt that new rule for IP ships are a very important case - especially since the majority of the members IP ships are less than 500 tonnage and many of these ships work in foreign ports. A common international standard is the only long-term solution to the problems that the ships are facing, "says Søren Enemark.

The IMO Subcommittee for Ship Design and Construction (SDC) will meet in London from the 22nd to the 26th of January, where one of the technical working groups will draw up an international regulatory system for IP vessels. Technicians from all maritime nations, including the Danish Maritime Authority, have in the past year given their suggestions on what a common set of rules could look like.

Source: Danske Rederier / Maritime Denmark

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