Around 200 delegates from all sectors of the Dutch maritime industry attended a Y2K seminar organized by Dutch-Belgian surveying group Touw Holding
. Representatives of banks, insurers, shipowners, salvors, government bodies, lawyers, surveyors, ship agents, and the Dutch Red Cross heard
about the state of Y2K readiness of the Dutch shipping industry, and the crucial role surveyors will play in assessing Y2K claims.
"The onus is on insurers to prove that damage claims are the result of the millennium problem, and they will be heavily reliant on the observations of surveyors," says Touw partner and managing director Maup Hoppzak
At the same time, says Hoppzak, claimants will have to prove that all possible steps were undertaken to prevent Y2K-related claims. Surveyors will play a key role in auditing claimants' documented precautions.
The seminar was the culmination of a two-year campaign by Touw to raise Y2K awareness in the Dutch maritime industry. "Two years ago, most people in the industry had yet to consider the Millennium Bug. Now, thanks to efforts such as ours, most have addressed the problem," says Hoppzak, who points out that, in addition to being Y2K compliant
, Touw itself has a detailed contingency plan in place to ensure "business as usual" during the period of the date change.