The shipping industry is calling for IMO and EU regulations to be harmonised. Delegates at several European Shipping Week seminars expressed concern about the different systems to monitor pollution that will be put in place in the near future by 2018 and 20119, including the EU’s monitoring, reporting, verification regulation and IMO’s fuel consumption data collection system.
However, David Kerr, head of unit transport, telecommunications and transport at the permanent representation of Malta to the EU warned delegates that “every time we attack the IMO, we attack the EU member states,” he said, pleading for cooperation.
It was also discussed how to make better use of existing technology and digitisation; the IMO has found that today’s tools like scrubbers can already reduce emissions by 75%.
But increased digitisation highlighted the need for a bigger discussion on cyber security. The incentive to tamper with emissions data is severe as the industry faces higher costs with the introduction of environmentally friendly fuels, warned Jukka Savo, who works for the European Commision on the development of the national single window (NSW) environment for sending digital ship pre-arrival information. Industry must find ways to ensure this kind of data cannot be tampered with, added Savo.
The NSW was also said to be another tool in need of harmonisation: Currently, all EU member states use different interfaces, in a federal country like Germany, crews even have different systems for every state, said Wolfgang Hintzsche from the German Shipowners Organisation. This was confirmed by Catrien Scheers, CEO of Fastlines: “Our masters fill in different forms in each EU port and even in every Belgium port,” she said. Scheers added that she hoped for one true national single window - or rather one European single window.