Interferry is engaged in the development of new regulations and the revision of existing requirements for the ferry industry, taking full advantage of the organization’s 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.
The IMO was originally established with maritime safety at the forefront but has gradually grown into the role to ensure high environmental protection in shipping activities. To that end, it is no longer always traditional ship experts that are engaged in developing regulations, like for instance master mariners, naval architects and marine surveyors, but to a large extent the new regulations are developed by people who may know very little of how shipping works and what is feasible or not.
For Interferry, providing context can therefore be as important as providing technical input.
While it is very common for any industry segment to become a bit self-obsessed and to consider itself “special”, in our case it is actually a warranted perception.
The absolute majority of ships that are regulated through the IMO, or the EU or any other entity, are so called deep-sea ships, crossing oceans and only rarely visiting ports.
Contrast that with ferries that typically have crossings of a few hours and visiting ports many times per day and you will note that using the same regulations for these vastly different ship categories is something like trying to regulate private cars and heavy duty trucks with the same paragraphs.
Interferry strongly supports the IMO process and its remit as the global supervisor of safe and clean shipping and appreciates the hard-won acceptance that ferries need special treatment. Not more beneficial treatment, just a bit adapted.