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Trešdiena, 13 jūnijs 2012 00:00


Danish Maritime Officers had in cooperation with the Danish Maritime Authorities planned a workshop on June 13th 2012 prior to the 38th AGA of IFSMA June 14th -15th 2012 in Copenhagen.

The workshop was titled “Lean ship of the future”.  With focus on the ever increasing administrative burdens and workload on masters and crew in modern days shipping in order to prepare for and comply with IMO Regulations, Flag and Costal State Regulations, ISPS, Port State Control, Vetting and company safety and quality management systems etc., the aim of the workshop was to identify and discuss the amount of administrative burdens in international shipping:

What is the impact on board the vessels? And what’s to be done?

Is it possible to “lean” things by either reducing or coordinating rules, regulations and procedure issued?  Or do things differently/smarter on board the ship?

  1. 1.Key presentation:

The key presentation was held by Mr. Andreas Nordseth, Director General of The Danish Maritime Authorities (DMA). Titled: “Administrative burdens – From craft to control”, the presentation focused on the fact that Shipping has never been more supervised, inspected and certified than today - and has never issued more documents and reports, which have increased the administrative work and tasks on ships masters and crew

With help from the consultant company COWI, DMA have made a study on the perception of administrative burdens. They have organized a tailored approach which combines hard and soft data sources, and involves both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. This combination of different data sources ensures a balanced and subtle view of the burdens in the maritime sector.

The presentation by Mr. Andreas Nordseth showed the first results of the work. In the studies consultants have conducted interviews, surveys, workshops and observed daily practice on board vessels. The goal was to conduct a 360 degree analysis of all relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector in Denmark


    • 796 Danish seafarers took part – among them 181 shipmasters
    • •72 % of major Danish ship owners contributed 
    • •95 % of gross tonnage in the Danish merchant marine is covered

 Some of the findings of “Administrative burdens – From craft to control”: 

35, 6 % of seafarers find inspections (including vetting) very time consuming

35, 0 % of seafarers find inspections (including vetting) very annoying 

38, 8 % of seafarers find internal quality assurance systems very time consuming

39, 9 % of seafarers find internal quality assurance systems very annoying 

21, 3 % of seafarers find handling of ISPS requirements very time consuming

39, 9 % of seafarers find find handling of ISPS requirements very annoying  

The average seafarer spent 20 % of working time spent on perceived administrative burdens. 

The average employee at land based offices spent 9 % of working time spent on perceived administrative burdens. 

The survey and the study was also based on interviews, here are some of the statements: 

Important messages from seafarers (Masters) 

"The last 10 years have seen a tremendous increase in the administrative side of the job" 

"Much of the paperwork is meaningless and time-consuming" 

"Paperwork in itself does not help me to run a safe and efficient ship" 

"I think we are at a tipping point… More paperwork might result in less safety"  

Control, control, control 

"I feel that 'control of control ' tends to evaluate mostly the quality of the control system" 

"Sometimes I think paperwork is more important than the actual quality of the ship and crew" 

"Could we scale down the quantitative measures a little?" 

"Maybe inspections could focus more on quality and competences?"  

"Many frustrations when we enter ports" 

"There are too many unnecessary and different port documents" 

"Some countries measure PSC performance by the number of ships inspected" 

"In other countries, all inspections need to have a minimum number of points" 

"It would help if we could harmonise more in the sector"  

Seafarers feel they have no voice 

"Many of us feel that we are the last link in the chain and cannot feed enough back" 

"What if we had a system to suggest adaptations and removal of inappropriate procedures?" 

"Could we have more proper and efficient channels to deal with unfit procedures?"  

Ship owners also have some issues 

"We respect national maritime authorities – but they can also give us a hard time" 

"Too many flag state-specific rules are unnecessary" 

"Often, we have to submit documentation that is not useful – or requires too much time" 

"A more thorough digitalization of interactions with authorities would help us" 

"Our world is complex – and we wish for fast and solid assistance from authorities to always be available" 

In his conclusions Mr. Andreas Nordseth expressed his concerns about the impact of the increased administrative burdens, which seems to be the result of a bureaucratic compliance culture in the maritime industry, with focus on pure compliance with the rules - “Doing the things right” – Going by the book, ensuring correct documentation, instead of   “Doing the right things right – promoting self regulation and responsibility on ships masters and crews with focus on compliance with the purpose of the rules.

  1. 2.Other Presentations: 

Captain Jens Naldal, President Danish Maritime Officers, Master and SQE team member at Danish shipping company TORM gave a presentation based on examples of “real life” administrative burdens and the perception of needless jobs and time consuming procedures put on ship, masters and crew nowadays. 

Mr. Peter K. Soerensen, Vice President Division for Maritime Industry at Force Technology, presented The SafeManning simulation tool - a model to analyze manning scenarios, explore development options and pinpoint possible bottlenecks and redundancies. The tool is not providing a solution for the best manning level. Based on input parameters on ship type, crew size and qualifications, tasks and voyage the simulation model delivers statistical output in tables and graphs where it can be illustrated if one or more crew members are e.g. exceeding a set of rest rules as well as it can show time consumed on different jobs and tasks on board. The tool is meant as an objective mean for authorities, organizations and companies to evaluate a mix of crews – both in numbers competences and duties – in order to perform the tasks placed on board the ship in a better way. 

Ms. Eva Thoft, Consultant at Grontmij and Seahealth Denmark. Can we improve the common understanding of expectations, performance, workloads and administrative burdens on board ships through better communication and a better working environment? -  Eva Thoft is co-writer to a practical guide/booklet to improve communication and cooperation between ship management and shipping company published by Seahealth Denmark, and she has for many years worked with “social capital” within business and other organizations. 

E-Navigation Making Way. The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) has for the last three years been Lead Partner of the EfficienSea Project, where DMA together with 15 partners around the Baltic Sea, demonstrated a number of e-Navigation Services effectively turning the Baltic Sea region into an e-Navigation laboratory. Mr Omar Frits Eriksson, Head of Section, Danish Maritime Authority presented an overview of the development of e-Navigation, present the findings of the EfficienSea project and facilitate a discussion on the utility of e-Navigation and the way forward. 

  1. 3.Findings and Conclusions: 
  1. a.Based on the presentations and the debate the workshop concluded the following: 

Administrative tasks on ships are perceived as burdens in the maritime industry and unnecessary administrative tasks on ships are burdens. 

There is a clear need for change. Otherwise the administrative task as a hole will not only be perceived as burdens, but become an overall burden on ships masters and crews with negative impact on safety, work environment, job satisfaction, recruitment and not at least on the craftsmanship of future masters and seafarers. 

A way to change things is for the industry to realize, that the current level of administrative burdens, where skilled and competent ships masters and officers are forced to use a high percentage of their working hours on being clerks in bureaucratic compliance culture is a clear waste of skills and manpower. It therefore constitutes a waste of money and resources. 

But the industry should also consider: 

  • Mechanisms to assess consequences and administrative burdens on ships, masters, crews and shipping companies when putting forward new procedures both nationally and on international levels (EU, IMO, ILO etc.)
  • Reducing manual working proceduresi.e. stamps, copies and ink signatures etc.
  • Higher levels of standardization and digitalization.
  • Better coordination, exchange and sharing of data (inspections, ports, authorities) 
  1. b.Comments noted by workshop participants 

What causes administrative burdens? 

  • §Often same inspections are performed from different actors during same port stay.
  • §Too many Flag state-specific rules
  • §Unclear purpose and meaning of many rules and regulations
  • §Lack of feed back mechanism
  • §Substandard ships set the standard and causes increased regulation and control regimes.
  • §Very manual paperwork
  • §Too much bureaucracy
  • §Too little time
  • §Lack of communication and understanding between ship and shore
  • §Many emails from the company
  • §A general mistrust and blame culture in shipping
  • §Most forms and systems are not coordinated by authorities, owners, vetting, classification etc.
  • §Inadequate tools on board (i.e. too small photo copy machines) 

What is the consequences/impact of administrative burdens?

  • §Less attention to the primary task – the safe conduct of the ship.
  • §Unattractive working environment
  • §Fatigue
  • §Criminalization of seafarers
  • §Bureaucracy
  • §Recruitment challenges
  • §Waste of time and money 

Ideas to reduce problems 

ü      Harmonization of interpretation of IMO codes.

ü      One integrated management system for all types of regulation.

ü      Stronger implementation of the IMO FAL convention.

ü      Better coordination, sharing and exchange of information between authorities, classification, oil majors etc.

ü      Better communication and common understanding between ship and shore.

ü      Better coordination and performance of the administrative tasks between ship and shore, and consider moving more of the paperwork towards shore based performance.

ü      Better digitalization of procedures (and analog backup)

ü      Use of voice recorder for documentation

ü      Use of E-navigation services

ü      Proper manning