European shipowners last week organised a two-day study-trip to Bergen, Norway for a group of EU decision makers from the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States.

“Our aim was to give policy and decision makers hands on experience of offshore shipping as well as to develop participants’ appreciation for the operational environment of the sector”, said Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of ECSA.

“This trip was part of a seminar series we organise within the ECSA offshore group to build knowledge about this particular shipping segment.

The first seminar took place inside the European Parliament and was more theoretical. This time we wanted the participants to see the vessels with their own eyes. Our aim is to contribute to fact-based policy making,” said Helene Tofte, Acting Director at the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, who currently chairs the ECSA Offshore Shipping Group and hosted the study-trip.

The trip included a visit on board a mobile offshore drilling rig, an offshore service vessel as well as visits to offshore companies.

“Being close to operations of the offshore shipping sector and speaking to offshore experts has been an extraordinary experience. Participants were impressed with the safety measures followed”, said Maria Deligianni, Policy Advisor at ECSA who coordinated the visit.

Several ECSA members represent companies that are active in the offshore service and supply vessel industry.

“Service and offshore support vessels hold maritime certificates, therefore they are included in our scope of interest”, said Patrick Verhoeven.

ECSA Members also operate installations used for offshore oil and gas operations that fall under the scope of the Offshore Safety Directive.

“Concerning the liability regime for offshore oil and gas operations, we support the Commission’s approach to let the Offshore Safety Directive, that came into force last July, show its effect before assessing the need for harmonising liability regimes at European level”, Patrick Verhoeven concluded.

Source: ECSA