AMRIE (The Alliance of Maritime Regional Interests in Europe) last week presented a series of recommendations aimed at improving levels of oil tanker safety in response to recent Commission proposals on the safety of the seaborne oil trade.
The AMRIE Paper calls on the Commission to lead the way in introducing requirements for Black Boxes to be fitted in all existing cargo ships, going beyond the IMO (International Maritime Organization) suggestion of new cargo ships only. AMRIE believes that the speedy introduction of Voyage Data Recorders to all vessels is imperative if the Commission is to achieve a 'Safety Culture' in Shipping.
AMRIE has also warned the Commission that it could be economically damaging for Europe's shipping industry if it acted unilaterally in bringing forward deadlines to ban single hull
Firstly, the organization contends, because of a shortage of double-hull tankers, oil supply to the EU could be restricted and Member States may be forced to turn towards flags of convenience. Secondly, these requirements are only applicable to ships using EU ports and not ships passing through EU waters.
AMRIE has responded to the Commission's plans with the suggestion that a tax, progressive with age, should be levied on single hull tankers as an alternative to banning them unilaterally.