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IMO sec-gen calls for safety overhaul and SOLAS review

IMO sec-gen calls for safety overhaul and SOLAS review
Koji Sekimizu, secretary general of IMO, opened the ICS conference in London this morning with a call for the systematic review of prescriptive safety regulation, and a shift towards goal-based standards. 


"The maritime community should start considering a new regime for the future." Sekimizu said.

"The 1974 SOLAS convention is a good framework and we can update it as necessary as we have done over the last four decades, But it is largely a prescriptive instrument. The regulations tell you what to do and if you tick all the boxes you have achieved compliance. In the years to come, my aspiration is to encourage the maritime community to use more  safety assessment and risk assessment techniques in framing rule based regulations. It is already underway and I think it is in this approach that our future lies."

Sekimizu gave his speech to a large audience of shipping delegates gathered at the British Library in London at the ICS event, one of the flagship events of London International Shipping Week.

"We need to start as soon as possible a holistic review of the current regime. We should not rush, but we should start working now with all stakeholders; emerging technologies and innovation for the huge potential to take safety into the new era," continued Sekimizu.

"2024 will be the 50th anniversary of the 1974 SOLAS convention, and I think that the regulatory regime of tomorrow may well require a full and complete review of the current system under the SOLAS convention and my vision is to introduce a new system, a system change, before we celebrate that 50th anniversary of SOLAS in 2024."

"As we are aware, and despite the huge advances that have been made in recent year, each new generation of vessels brings fresh challenges and accidents still occur.

"Our efforts to promote maritime safety can never end, but it is my belief that we stand on the brink of a new and positive era for ship safety, with techniques such as probabilistic risk assessment and measures such as goal-based construction standards pointing the way towards more robust and safe designs."

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