Sulphur Enforcement Begins in Denmark
For the first time all 16 SECA countries met for the Danish Maritime Authority’s workshop on sulphur regulation enforcement. The leaving participants’ suitcases were filled with inspiration for strengthened national efforts and cross-country coordination
A total of 35 legal experts, port State control surveyors and naval architects from the authorities in Canada, the EU countries, Russia, the USA and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) checked into the Konventum Conference Centre in Elsinore on 25 February. Here, they were striving – in a very concentrated manner and positive and curious spirit – to exchange experiences and generate ideas for an improved and more homogeneous enforcement of the sulphur regulations. During the course of the two days, the participants covered many different themes related to the legal as well as the technical challenges faced when enforcing the sulphur regulations – and they got closer to each other.
Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority Christian Breinholt says about the workshop:
”The opportunity was provided for a different and more creative process than what is usually seen in international work. And it paid off all the way round. The participants are pleased that we succeeded in gathering all the SECA countries for this workshop. It was an immensely inspiring experience for everyone who is trying to solve the enforcement task in the best possible manner. After this workshop, they will be much better at this because now they know what their colleagues in the other countries are working at. What is even more important is that now the participants have looked each other in the eyes and created a basis for coordination across the borders.”
Specific ideas for cooperation among the countries
There is no doubt that the workshop was characterised by openness and a constructive spirit. It was agreed to strive for a homogeneous interpretation of the sulphur regulations and the manner in which they are enforced. Many good and innovative ideas were proposed, inter alia the creation of a dedicated SECA network that could work on a common interpretation of the regulations. Such a network could, for example, consider any uncertainty limits in connection with sulphur measurements and the necessity of route deviations as well as competence development for ship surveyors. Another proposal concerned improved data distribution among the SECA countries, for example through an extension of the EU database THETIS-S and providing all the SECA countries with access to this database.
Inspiring presentations at the workshop
Furthermore, there were a number of inspiring presentations during the workshop. Thus, Trident Alliance gave the industry’s perspective on the sulphur regulations, the American environmental authorities informed about their enforcement policy, and the Netherland authorities shared the experience gained with sulphur measurement equipment capable of detecting offenders on the spot.