For many years now the shipping industry has been expanding with new tonnage
over the full range of vessel types, especially
passanger/cruise tanker and container vessels have now virtualy become the
norm for transportation across the seas.
Expansion of new tonnage will not necessarly mean, that the world's aging
fleet will be scrapped, on the contrary shipping disasters have become more
Ship losses in the world:
- 94 % of ships lossed are more than 15 years old. - 59 % are general
cargo vessels, 15 % bulk carriers, 10 % tankers, 7 % roro/passengers, 1 %
containerships. - Main causes, when in rough seas, include: water in, engine
failure, structural collapse, capsize. - Globally over 100 ships are lost
each year accounting for over 3 000 lives.
The principal regulations governing maritime
The following are the
major international shipping conventions, adopted by the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European
Union, concerning safety and pollution prevention. However, many other
maritime instruments or regulations concerning more specific issues are also in
SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea,
1974) lays down a comprehensive range of minimum standards for the safe
construction of ships and the basic safety equipment (e.g. fire protection,
navigation, lifesaving and radio) to be carried on board. SOLAS also requires
regular ship surveys and the issue by flag states of certificates of
MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of
Pollution from Ships, 1973/1978) contains requirements to prevent pollution that
may be caused both accidentally and in the course of routine operations. MARPOL
concerns the prevention of pollution from oil, bulk chemicals, dangerous goods,
sewage, garbage and atmospheric pollution, and includes provisions such as those
which require certain oil tankers to have double hulls.
COLREG (Convention on the International Regulations for
Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972) lays down the basic "rules of the road",
such as rights of way and actions to avoid collisions.
LOADLINE (International Convention on Loadlines) sets the
minimum permissible free board, according to the season of the year and the
ship's trading pattern.
ISPS (The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code,
2002) includes mandatory requirements to ensure ships and port facilities are
secure at all stages during a voyage.
The Oceans and
over the oceans (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The
Convention came into force on 16 November 1994) Navigational rights, territorial
sea limits, economic jurisdiction, legal status of resources on the seabed
beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, passage of ships through narrow
straits, conservation and management of living marine resources, protection of
the marine environment, a marine research regime and, a more unique feature, a
binding procedure for settlement of disputes between States.
ISM (The International Safety Management Code, 1993)
effectively requires shipping companies to have a licence to operate. Companies
and their ships must undergo regular audits to ensure that a safety management
system is in place, including adequate procedures and lines of communication
between ships and their managers ashore.
STCW (International Convention on Standards of Training,
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978/1995) establishes uniform
standards of competence for seafarers.
ILO 147 (The ILO Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards)
Convention, 1976) requires national administrations to have effective
legislation on labour issues such as hours of work, medical fitness and
seafarers' working conditions.
Council Directive 95/21/EC of 19 June 1995 concerning the
enforcement, in respect of shipping using european Community ports and sailing
in the waters under the jurisdiction of the Member States, of international
standards for ship safety, pollution prevention and shipboard living and working
conditions (port State control).