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      A register of quality: the Maritime Regulator raises the bar

      A register of quality: the Maritime Regulator raises the bar

      “I come not to praise 2011 but to bury it!”

      With this para-quote from William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar: Act III scene 2), Freddy Bracke, chairman of the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster opened a new year reception hosted by Luxembourg Ship Owners. Given that an estimated 90% of world trade is carried in ships it is not surprising the industry suffered a tough year. However, with 253 ships registered under the Luxembourg flag, members are now focused on establishing the register as a label of quality.

      Rober Biwer, Luxembourg Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, gave a lively speech on the raft of international norms due to be adopted during the coming weeks and months. These include the International Labour Convention and the Seafarer’s Identity Documents Convention, which provide comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world’s 1.2 million seafarers.

      Other Conventions cover problems as diverse as Wreck Removal, Ballast Water Management (invasive marine species), the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances and Best Management Practices for the prevention of piracy.

      Further developments include the upcoming launch of an online portal for handling regulatory correspondence and authorisations and the revision of the 1990 Luxembourg Maritime Act.

      At the Maritime Cluster’s 20th anniversary celebrations a year ago Mr Jeannot Krecke, Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade, threw down a challenge: “The Luxembourg register will be a register of quality or it will not be!”  

      The industry has made its choice and picked up the challenge. ER

      Luxembourg Commissioner for Maritime Affairs.