Quick Safety Changes Unlikely

(Reuters) – The cruise ship disaster off Italy’s coast is drawing fresh scrutiny to the gaps in international safety rules and standards – yet there may be little appetite among the world’s major shipping nations and companies for big changes anytime soon.

While an international regime exists for the training of mariners on everything from car ferries to cruise ships, enforcing that is very much a national affair.

Shipping executives, insurers and maritime attorneys say the problem is one of cost – the cost of more comprehensive training schemes like those used in the military. It is a burden that shipping nations and their largest shipping companies do not want to shoulder.

Given that maritime nations and the industry want to promote growth throughout the world, imposing a heavier “level of training and certification would be perceived as being quite onerous,” said David Loh, a maritime lawyer with Cozen O’Connor in New York and a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy.

The training of mariners on commercial ships is governed by the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention, known in …………[access full article]

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