Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
IHMA members within a defined geographical region of two or more neighbouring countries may seek IHMA authority to establish a Regional Committee. The aim of a Regional Committee is to further the specific interests of IHMA's members within that region.
At present there is one Regional Committee, the European Harbour Masters' Committee (EHMC). The EHMC is managed by a board from which its Chair is elected. The EHMC has its own Secretary and its elected Chair is co-opted to ExCo.
The aim of the EHMC is to further the specific interests of IHMA's individual members in that region.
As well as the benefits of IHMA membership, European Harbour Masters receive the following benefits of membership of the European Harbour Masters' Committee:
As an active Regional Committee, EHMC strives to strengthen the IHMA
Ports of Marseille, Marseille-Fos, France
Port of Bordeaux, France
Port of Barcelona, Spain
Belfast Port Authority, UK
The EHMC actively seeks close co-operation with a number of European organisations.
EHMC co-operates actively with other European organisations in ports. At the 2009 seminar in Gdansk the European organisations EMPA (pilots), ETA (tug owners), EBA (boatmen) and CESMA (captains) were invited. This led, a year later, to a co-operation that aims to improve together the standards for safe operations in ports, the European Nautical Platform www.nauticalplatform.org
ESPO, European Sea Ports Organisation, represents the port authorities, port associations and port administrations of the seaports of the Member States of the European Union and Norway. ESPO also has observer members in several neighbouring European countries. ESPO plays a pro-active role in issues such as port governance and port performance. www.espo.be
Within ESPO, the EHMC cooperates with The Marine Affairs and Security Committee (MA&S). The starting point is that ESPO is strong in influencing public policy in the European port sector, EHMC –as technical marine experts- is strong in professional knowledge. Combining forces is beneficial for both organisations. EHMC may send ’ex officio members’ representing the EHMC as an organisation in the committee. ESPO can request topical expertise from the wider EHMC membership.
ETA, European Tugowners Association, founded 1963, promotes the interests of the European towage industry. Based in Brussels as a non-governmental organization, its membership is drawn from 21 European countries and comprises 82 companies operating some 700 tugs in the ports and coastal areas of Europe. ETA membership embraces all sizes of individual companies from single tug ones to the largest industry, including multinational groups, port authorities of main ports and small ports. www.ebanet.orgwww.eurotugowners.com
EBA, European Boatmen’s Association, founded 1977, has the purpose of exchanging technical-nautical information in order to improve and enhance the sector’s professional standards. It takes action when invited to do so by a national association, to support initiatives or provide its experience wherever the opportunity arises. www.ebanet.org
EMPA, European Maritime Pilots’ Association, is a non-profit organization, created in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1963 by pilots of the recently established European Economic Community. Nowadays EMPA includes member countries associations of maritime pilots from the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. In 2012, EMPA represented about 5,000 maritime pilots from 25 European countries, including Norway, Russia, Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine. www.empa-pilots.eu/
CESMA, European Shipmasters’ Association, membership includes 14 shipmasters’ associations in 11 European maritime nations. The organisation works on a non-profit basis and is independent of states, political parties, trade unions and shipowners’ organisations.
EMSA, European Maritime Safety Association, was founded in the aftermath of the Erika and Prestige disasters and deals with pollution response, ensuring quality shipping, protecting the marine environment, accident investigation and maritime information systems. www.emsa.europa.eu
Maritime and Port Policy
Commission Communication; Strategic goals and recommendations for the EU’s maritime transport policy until 2018. In this Communication the Commission presents the main strategic objectives for the European maritime transport system up to 2018. The Strategy identifies key areas where action by the EU will strengthen the competitiveness of the sector while enhancing its environmental performance.
The Communication itself is divided into six chapters: (i.) shipping trends & business conditions, (ii.) human resources, (iii.) quality shipping, (iv.) international scene, (v.) short-sea shipping and (vi.) research and innovation.
Source: European Commission
Date: January 2009
Commission Staff Working Document (on the implementation of the EU Maritime Transport Strategy 2009-2018)
Directive 2010/65/EU, Reporting formalities for ships
Directive on reporting formalities for ships arriving in and/or departing from ports in EU member states. Its purpose is to simplify and harmonise the administrative procedures applied to maritime transport by making compulsory the electronic transmission of information standard and by rationalising reporting formalities. Entered into force 1 June 2015.
Regulation 1286/2011, Methodology for investigating marine casualties
This EU regulation adopts a common methodology for investigating marine casualties and incidents to be followed by investigative bodies when carrying out safety investigations. Developed pursuant to Article 5(4) of Directive 2009/18/EC.
Directive 2009/18/EC, Accident Investigation Directive
Directive establishing the fundamental principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector. The purpose of this Directive is to improve maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by ships, and so reduce the risk of future marine casualties, by: (a) facilitating the expeditious holding of safety investigations and proper analysis of marine casualties and incidents in order to determine their causes; and (b) ensuring the timely and accurate reporting of safety investigations and proposals for remedial action.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the World Health Organization’s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. This was reported on 22 July.
Updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: ‘Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions.’
IMO Secretary General Lim commented: ‘I am glad to see that the WHO recognises the importance of vaccinating seafarers on cargo ships.
‘These individuals are responsible for transporting over 80% of all goods around the world, including food, medicine and vaccine supplies – and have continued to do so despite extremely challenging circumstances. Seafarers will play a key role in the global recovery, and barriers to international travel and crew change must be removed.’
On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured causing an explosion and fire. The tanker was moored alongside a general cargo berth in Ulsan, Republic of Korea and the Singapore registered chemical tanker Bow Dalian was moored outboard. Ignition of the styrene monomer vapour resulted in a fireball, which reached the road bridge above. Both vessels were damaged, and two crew suffered minor injuries. Fifteen emergency responders were injured during the fire-fighting, which lasted for over six hours.
Rupture of the styrene monomer tank resulted from a runaway polymerisation that was initiated by elevated temperatures caused by heat transfer from other chemical cargoes. Elevated temperatures caused the inhibitor, added to prevent the chemical’s polymerisation during the voyage, to deplete more rapidly than expected. Although the styrene monomer had not been stowed directly adjacent to heated cargo, the potential for heat transfer through intermediate tanks was not fully appreciated or assessed.