A detailed action plan addressing domestic ferry safety in the East Asia sub-region was agreed by participants in a forum on the subject organized by IMO and held in Bali, Indonesia, on 6 and 7 December 2011.
Attended by delegates from several governments as well industry organization Interferry, the Regional Forum on Domestic Ferry Safety adopted an eight-point plan which, among other things, calls on Governments to assist ship‐owners and operators to provide fit-for-purpose vessels that are compliant with national rules and regulations and to support and monitor ships’ masters and operators to ensure that safety obligations are being properly fulfilled.
It also called for Governments to designate relevant focal points to participate in regular dialogue with, and to share relevant data among, all those with an interest in domestic ferry safety, to help identify critical issues that lead to accidents and casualties with a view to formulating effective solutions.
The Forum, organized as part of IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, and in collaboration with Interferry and the Directorate General of Sea Transportation of Indonesia, discussed issues such as hazardous weather, vessel design and construction, overcrowding and the poor enforcement of rules, all of which may be considered to be significant contributory factors leading to accidents and fatalities.
Delegates included administrators and policy makers with responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of domestic ferry safety requirements in their countries, as well as ferry operators and other industry representatives from the private sector.
Altogether 74 participants from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Viet Nam and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community attended. The private sector was represented by Interferry and Interferry’s membership including participants from classification societies (the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas).