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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Successful International Seminar on Maritime Safety organized by Turkish Chamber of Shipping in Istanbul

Tom Allen of the UK Department for Transport chaired a successful seminar at the Turkish Chamber of Shipping in Istanbul on 28 May 2004.

Words of welcome were given by the Undersecretary for Maritime Affairs, Mr. Ismet Yilmaz and the Chairman of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, Mr. Meting Kalkavan, who set the stage for an open discussion on current European Union (EU) and international maritime safety policies and the challenges and opportunities these create for the maritime industry and the Turkish maritime community in particular. This was followed by a number of individual presentations.

Mr. Ib Mathiesen of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) talked about the perception of maritime safety and the role of EMSA. Dr. Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Deputy Undersecretary for Maritime Affairs, gave a presentation on recent developments in Turkish maritime administration policies and enhancement of maritime safety and environmental protection. Mr Sergio Carvalho, Principal Administrator of DG Tren, European Commission, then reviewed EU maritime safety policies and their implementation. The morning session ended with a presentation by Professor Mustafa Insel of IstanbulTechnicalUniversity who challenged the methodology of the Paris MOU’s risk rating and pointed to risk-based safety assessment as a better method of PSC targeting.

In the afternoon session Mr Alfons Guinier of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) gave an overview of EU and international activity relating to maritime safety. INTERTANKO’s Svein Ringbakken followed with a presentation relating to tanker safety seen from the perspective of tanker owners. (A copy of the presentation can be downloaded from INTERTANKO’s web site). Mr Tamer Kiran, who is a Board Member of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, reviewed the role of Turkish shipowners and operators in enhancing maritime safety. Capt. Feliciano Maizcurrena explained how port state control (PSC) was implemented in Spain. Mr Tulug Gumustekin, who represents Turkish interests in Brussels, pointed to problems and opportunities for the maritime industry in relation to the EU’s consideration of whether to invite Turkey to start EU membership negotiations in the near future. Finally, Professor Yucel Odabasi, the President of the Turkish Lloyd Foundation, provided a forceful challenge of the methodology used by the EU when rating flags.

A constructive exchange, involving not only the speakers but also many from the audience, made it clear that whilst there was some concern in the Turkish maritime community that the maritime safety regime and in particular the PSC and EU targeting regime had some unfair effects, the community had already engaged constructively to address these problems both on the industry and government side. The Undersecretary Mr. Yilmaz underlined that the authorities were addressing maritime safety through a number of initiatives and that the dialogue with the European Commission and EMSA on these issues would continue. The Chairman of the Chamber Mr. Kalkavan confirmed that the shipowners and operators were prepared to work with the EU and others to identify and implement any action necessary, but also emphasised that this would not stop them from highlighting shortcomings or unfair effects of the existing regimes.

Contact: Svein Ringbakken