Regulatory Committee

Through the Regulatory Committee, the environment remains a top-of-mind concern for our members as the world addresses the need for a lower carbon future. The focus of this committee is to protect the ferry sector’s interests with regulators, while working to ensure the well being of planet Earth.

Since 2011, Interferry’s Operators Policy Committee (OPC) has been in place to support Interferry’s work on Regulatory Affairs, taking full advantage of Consultative Status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Between staff and members’ expertise, Interferry is always represented at the IMO and with regional bodies seeking to impose new regulations, most notably the EU.

Security Committee

Company security officers comprise the Security Committee and facilitate experience sharing among members on important security issues. This Committee helps members better engage in discussions on voluntary measures and local requirements.

Post the 9-11 attacks in New York, most of global shipping, including ferry services are governed by security regulations agreed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the so called ISPS Code.

This set of requirements is based on typical cargo operations, rather than the movement of thousands of passengers to and from a ferry. Interferry is in close cooperation with interested parties, most notably the European Commission, to assess if additional measures could be considered, with a view to ascertain the lowest possible security risk to our passengers. In general, the ferry industry does not wish to pursue an airport style security scheme, but we are cognizant that potential individual acts of unrest may warrant more extensive measures than what we have been used to. Operators will assess the risks posed to their operations, in co-operation with local authorities.

The Interferry Security Committee works to share different practices between the members, but unlike safety issues, security in the industry is so localized that any one-size-fits-all solutions will be inefficient and even counter-productive.

Domestic Safety Committee

Maritime Safety is paramount in the ferry industry, but it an issue that is not treated uniformly throughout all the ferry markets in the world.

93% of ferry fatalities occur on domestic routes, with two-thirds of these occurring in just seven countries – most notably the Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Formed to support developing nations, the Domestic Safety Committee identifies drivers for change. (Please see committee member Dr. Neil Baird’s thesis Fatal Ferry Accidents, Their Causes and How to Prevent Them.)

Ferries operating between countries are governed by rules agreed to at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), ever since the Titanic. Although there is always room for incremental improvement, we consider the international safety standard to be very, very high and our involvement with new safety regulations at the IMO are really on the margin.

The same goes for all OECD countries and several others too. Unfortunately, there are still a number of countries sporting extensive ferry services, but which do not commit enough resources to develop the safety of their networks. Therefore, Interferry’s Domestic Safety Committee is currently entirely devoting its resources to a project in the Philippines, where we seek to understand which mechanisms work best to improve domestic safety. This work is kindly funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.