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Danish Maritime Days: Do not punish First Movers

By Managing Director Jenny N. Braat, Danish Maritime

Maritime businesses investing in new green technology are severely let down, if they cannot trust the decisions of the International Maritime Organisation to be implemented.

If we do not have global legislation, enforced evenly, the oceans and seas will be open to complete anarchy. The businesses that do not develop new products or do not adhere to the legislation will be the winners. Meanwhile, the First Movers who do develop new, innovative solutions will be the losers.

Denmark focuses on research, development and innovation. Within the maritime industry, we are home to a range of globally leading businesses who are First Movers.

Sadly, for the maritime innovators, being part of a decidedly global industry poses an obstacle in itself. It means that not only do these businesses have to keep abreast of national legislation; they also have to be on top of the legislation of the countries in which they have their production sites or perform services in and also the countries from which their customers operate.

If we want sea transport to be greener and competitive and that maritime businesses invest in development and technology, the businesses have to have a business model that does not punish those who do develop new products – or for that matter hinders the shipowners who lead the way by implementing the new components.

One example is ballast water. Last year the progress of the global maritime world was upset dramatically when the implementation of the IMO convention on ballast water was delayed. Also, the implementation within emission control areas of the NOx Technical Code was postponed.

Since it fell through, the debate in the trade has focused on the uncertainty shipowners face once they have had new technology installed to meet sulphur regulations. They have no possibility of knowing whether their competitors follow the current legislation.

The First Movers should soundly be given their due in international legislation, and the efficient enforcement of the rules has to be pushed further up on the agenda of the legislators.

Danish Maritime is hosting a First Movers seminar on 9 October 2014 at the Bella Center in Copenhagen.


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