Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Johan Roos oversees Interferry’s three subcommittees: the Regulatory Committee, the Security Committee and the Domestic Safety Committee. Comprised of member volunteers with expertise in the appropriate fields, these three committees help lay the groundwork for Interferry’s overall initiatives as laid out in the 2024-2026 Strategic Plan.

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), and its predecessor, 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 other regulatory bodies such as the EU when necessary.

Capt. John Garner, Regulatory Committee Chairman

As founding director of JG Maritime Solutions Ltd, John has provided advice to three ferry newbuild, ship management and decarbonisation projects. John is a former Interferry Director, the current chair of the Interferry Regulatory Committee and provided regulatory liaison on behalf of Interferry in the LASH FIRE project. Last year John participated in two domestic ferry safety projects in Nigeria, providing regulatory advice in a feasibility study to provide net zero ferries and infrastructure in Lagos lagoon and associated waterways as well as advice on the IMO Model regulations for Domestic Ferry safety supported by a Safety Management system.

Currently a partner in the successful bid to provide a UK domestic green corridor utilising methanol, fuel cells and carbon capture and storage. John is chair of Lloyds Register Technical Committee, a former member of the Supervisory Board of the UK Chamber of Shipping, a Fellow of the Nautical Institute, a Chartered Master Mariner, a Fellow of IMarEST and a Chartered Marine Technologist.

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.

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. Operators 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 global shipping industry tends to be localized and requires bespoke solutions.

Ville Patrikainen, Security Committee Chairman

Ville Patrikainen is a maritime safety and security expert with over 20 years’ experience in the shipping industry. Safety and security have always been part of Ville’s job, especially in recent years while working in various senior shore positions for companies like P&O Ferries, TWW Yacht Management and for current employer DFDS / FRS Iberia as a Safety & Security Director, DPA, CSO. Accidents and incidents around the world have forced shipping companies to investigate their operations and procedures in order to avoid single point of failures. Past several years Ville has been working closely with European authorities and other shipping companies to develop mitigating measures and best practices for maritime to support shipping companies in prevention and in readiness. Ville has been working on following leading cruise companies as a Senior Officer while at sea; Carnival Corporation, Thomson Cruises and Fred Olsen however he started his career on oil tankers and have experience being a Captain on small charter boats but also have experience sailing on tugboats, general cargo and container ships. He is considered industry expert and has been appearing in several industry events as a guest speaker. He has been a chairman of Interferry Security Committee and Informal Shipowner’s Security Forum (ISSF) over the last years and has led industry (UK Chambers of Shipping) Bridge Resource Management Task Force to review and publish further industry BRM guidance.

Domestic Safety Committee

Formed to support developing nations, the Domestic Safety Committee identifies drivers for change.

Unfortunately, in many developing countries, ferry transport is unfortunately frequently associated with accidents and fatalities. In fact, between 2010-2019, 99.5% of all known ferry fatalities worldwide occurred on domestic voyages in non-OECD countries.

It is no coincidence that ferry transportation is an integral part of the domestic transport infrastructure in many countries, particularly archipelagic countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, river deltaic countries like Bangladesh, countries with extensive riverine systems such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, or even a combination of great lakes, rivers and archipelago such as Tanzania. Incidentally, these are the very countries experiencing a high number of accidents and fatalities over the past two decades and, therefore, considered high-risk countries in the ferry transport sector.

In 2019, the Domestic Safety Committee completed two fact-finding missions to the Philippines in an effort to improve ferry safety culture domestically. The FERRYSAFE project identified paramount measures to be acted upon to increase overall safety in the region. The project was considered to be a success as the safety culture continues to improve in the Philippines and there is now a passenger expectation of safe ferry travels.

In 2022, Interferry commissioned the World Maritime to complete a scoping study on seven countries with the highest ferry fatalities in the world. The study was published in February 2023 and it identified that four of the seven countries were located on the African continent – leading Interferry to realize the dire need for an increased safety culture in many African countries. This realization led to the inception of the first ever African Ferry Safety Seminar which was co-hosted by Interferry and the IMO in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in April 2024.

Oliver Weiss, Domestic Safety Committee Chairman

Oliver Weiss retired as a partner in 2013 from a leading firm of maritime solicitors in the City of London. In a career spanning almost forty years as a litigator he dealt with some of the major casualties, including ferries. He established Griffon Maritime (GMA) in 2014 and continues to advise clients from his position as a consultant. Oliver chairs the Safety Committee of Interferry.