SEA Europe Calls for Action on Mutual Recognition

There is a need for simplifying the procedures for mutual recognition certificates, according to a recently published report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on common rules and standards for ship inspections and survey organisations.

The simplification would pave the way for the costs to become more competitive and phasing out of individual certificates.

As explained by the European Ships and Maritime Equipment Association (SEA Europe), this would relieve individual companies of some of the administrative burden and lead to a wider international acceptance of the mutual recognition certificate.

On the whole SEA Europe considers that this EC report is well balanced taking into account the efforts made by the European recognised organisations to propose an approach implementing the obligations included in Article 10 of Regulation EC 391/2009. It also highlights the main concerns of the European maritime technology industry namely:

  1. Increase of cost for certification
  2. Additional administrative burden
  3. Lack of international acceptance

SEA Europe also supports the call for the EU recognised organisations to further develop the mutual recognition scheme.

“However, the industry has expressed strong concerns that whilst positive steps have been taken there is still a perceived ‘slowness’ in bringing products, which are not necessarily deemed safety critical, under the mutual recognition scheme. Taking this into account the industry requests that the European Commission outline a timetable for a review of the process in three years’ time to ensure a more rapid pace of implementation,” the association said.

What is more, SEA Europe voiced concern that the lack of tangible recommendations and absence of a follow-up review means that efforts to move towards one set of class rules for many maritime products and a cost effective MR scheme would not accelerate.

“The maritime technology sector still views the traditional classification of products as an unnecessary cost / administrative burden and call on the European Commission to commit to robust follow-up action e.g. by setting up a regular monitoring forum to ensure that the process which has been embarked on will not stall or come to a halt,” SEA Europe concluded.

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