According to reports, the International Maritime Organization
(IMO) and the non-governmental industry organization Interferry have signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the two Organizations’ intent to work together towards enhancing the safety of non-Convention ferries by collaborating, through IMO’s Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme, on related capacity-building activities within developing countries.
The move is part of a continued drive to improve safety in a sector which has seen repeated accidents and loss of life in recent years.
Under the agreement, the two Organizations will work closely with interested parties such as Bangladesh
, which has been selected as a pilot country for the Organizations’ work, and which has seen some of the worst ferry disasters, with the aim of identifying potential solutions to increasing ferry safety. The two Organizations have agreed to share certain costs and IMO will seek financial support from governments and multilateral funding organizations. Interferry will
reach out to private sector ferry operators and its own members, as well as other international private sector organizations, to inform them of the initiative and seek their support, as well as seeking the assistance of private sector ferry operators in the pilot country itself.
The two Organizations will also collaborate on the preparation of materials and documentation to support the operation of a national working group in the pilot country which will seek to involve all stakeholders in improving ferry safety.
A working group will select sites, identify the issues to be addressed, highlight the obstacles that need to be overcome and suggest solutions that could be implemented. At this stage, three pilot projects are being anticipated in different parts of Bangladesh, each site selected to focus on a particular issue.