Today (7 May 2013) marks the start of a six-month consultation period in which the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will seek widespread input on the administrative burdens that may result from compliance with IMO instruments.
The intention is to gather data from a broad spectrum of stakeholders from which recommendations on how to alleviate administrative burdens can be developed. The Organization recognizes that some administrative requirements contained in IMO instruments may have become unnecessary, disproportionate or even obsolete, and is committed to reducing their impact. This, says IMO, would not only be beneficial in its own right, it would also help to release resources that could then be channelled towards the Organization’s overall goals of improving safety and security in shipping and reducing its negative impact on the environment.
The consultation process is being carried out through a dedicated website, which is accessible from the IMO website (http://www.imo.org/OurWork/rab
). It offers practical information and guidance to participants in the consultation and includes a questionnaire to be filled in and submitted electronically.
The consultation is open to everyone, including the general public. Particular target groups are all maritime stakeholders, including:
• companies and owners;
• governments, in their capacity as Party to conventions, flag, port or coastal State;
• manufacturers and equipment suppliers;
• maritime administrations;
• masters and ships' crew;
• port authorities;
• recognized organizations;
• shipbuilders and ship repairers; and
IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said, “There has long been a feeling in the industry that there is too much wasted paperwork. This is the start of our efforts to tackle that problem. I would urge as many people as possible to take part in this consultation, as only with a strong set of data can we meaningfully identify where changes may be necessary.”
The consultation process will end on 31 October 2013. After it has been completed, a steering group established by the IMO Council will analyse the responses to identify those administrative requirements that are perceived as burdens, and will make recommendations to the Council as to how any such burdens should be addressed.