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Task Force

Concerted Action on FSEA-Final Summary Report

Project Co-ordinator:
Germanischer Lloyd on behalf of EEIG Unitas
Det Norske Veritas


1 Objectives

The Concerted Action on Formal Safety and Environmental Assessment of Ship Operations was initiated to establish a common knowledge about methods for assessment of the safety and environmental impact from ships within European shipping, and aimed at a common understanding of how to apply the methods in shipping. More specifically, the objecives were:

  • to bring together experts from all relevant parties involved in European shipping with the aim to establish a common knowledge about the assessment of safety and environmental impact of ships.
  • to create a common understanding of how the approaches to risk assessment and environmental impact assessment can be applied to shipping.
  • to contribute to the harmonization of European activities in regulating ship transport.
  • to identify and specify necessary further developments on the way to a commonly understood and accepted approach in the assessment of safety and environmental impacts of ships.

    2 Short Technical Description

    The technical content of the project consisted of 16 tasks, as indicated below:

    1. Evaluation of the current state of the art of present methodologies.
    2. Specification of differences and similarities in present approaches.
    3. Identification of relevant research projects or initiatives.
    4. Identification of similar approaches in other sectors of industry.
    5. Identification of potential users and applications for a common methodology.
    6. Identification of requirements from existing and future mandatory regimes to be reflected in a common methodology.
    7. Identification of aspects linked with the environmental sensitivity of marine areas.
    8. Assessment of methods with the ability to be used for a common assessment methodology.
    9. Evaluation of how risk assessment techniques can be used for maritime traffic regulation.
    10. Evaluation of how to integrate human factors in risk assessment.
    11. Evaluation of availability and applicability of existing information sources and data.
    12. Follow-up relevant research projects/initiatives and assimilate results within the Concerted Action.
    13. Specification of all aspects to be considered within risk assessment of shipping.
    14. Suggestion of requirements with regard to a continuous accident and incident reporting system in Europe.
    15. Definition of necessary future developments of risk assessment techniques with respect to one common risk assessment methodology.
    16. Definition of priority research tasks.

    The tasks were mainly dealt with through working groups and workshops. Specific tasks were allocated to different working groups and workshops, consisting of a limited number of participants with special expertise and/or interest regarding the tasks.

    Results were presented and discussed in meetings with the entire Consortium. Observers were invited to join these meetings and share their views, comments and relevant input with the Consortium. Results were also disseminated on maritime conferences and via the project's own website.

    3 Results and Conclusions

    A brief overview of results (1) and conclusions is presented below. 3.1 Evaluation of the current state of the art of present methodologies

    Several methods were identified, which are currently in use or being developed for the assessment of safety and/or environmental impacts of ships. Formal Safety Assessment (FSA)

    The FSA methodology consists of the five steps: 1) identification of hazards, 2) risk assessment, 3) risk control options, 4) cost benefit assessment and 5) recommendations for decision making. FSA covers risk to people, property and the environment.

    Currently two application areas are seen:

    1. Rule making purposes, to establish a general overview of risks and risk control. This application area is currently discussed at IMO, as FSA is seen as a possible tool to support the IMO rule-making process. Administrations and Organisations have been invited to start trial applications according to Interim Guidelines for the Application of FSA to the IMO Rule-Making Process, to gain experience with the approach.
    2. For particular activities, operations, installations, ships. Such application is normally called a "safety case". The current understanding in the Consortium is that a safety case application of FSA could be done on a voluntary basis but was not regarded practical to be performed for each individual ship.

    Environmental Indexing

    Environmental Indexing of ships, a ship-type specific system, estimates probabilistic and deterministic pollution and compares this with desired reference levels to calculate a ratio or index for the individual ship. Reference levels for indexing may be such as "average" or the "Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Cost" (BATNEEC). The indexing system is rather complex, which was seen as a reason why possible users have not applied the system so far.

    Environmental Accounting

    Environmental Accounting of individual ships is an approach focussing on the deterministic pollution from ships, suggesting a system to keep track of the operational emissions and releases from individual ships.

    The Green Award System

    The system emphasizes the environmental aspects in particular. Compliance with (inter)national laws and regulations, technical and operational standard on-board the individual ship and management standard on-shore are audited and scored. If the score is found acceptable, a Green Award Certificate is issued for a period of three years. Based on this certificate the ship can get a several percent port fee reduction by the Port of Rotterdam and several other ports worldwide that have joined the scheme.

    The International Marine Safety Rating System (IMSRS®)

    This is also an approach based on management system audits and physical condition checks. The primary focus is on best management practice for control of losses. Losses are related to injury, illness, property damage, fire and explosion. IMSRS® also covers some environmental and quality management issues, occupational issues, ship operation and crew involvement. IMSRS® is used by several shipping companies, on a voluntary basis. This system is consistent with the ISM Code and can be used as a tool in implementing the Code requirements.

    Port State Control

    One approach within Port State Control is focussing on the identification of deficiencies on ships and their follow-up, using a scoring system. The main purpose of this approach is to reduce the number of sub-standard ships.

    Human and organisational factors assessment

    Several approaches were identified. A distinction could be made between:

    1. Analytical methods concentrating into human errors within a system and
    2. Methods emphasizing the importance of the management and the environment.

    Some methods have already been used in shipping, e.g. for monitoring navigation bridge procedures.

    Review of current assessment practice

    A review of current assessment practices in shipping was performed. It was generally found that safety and environmental issues are dealt with mostly by complying with prescriptive rules and regulations. Risk based approaches are not playing any major role in this industry. Some actors use assessment techniques as a supplement

    Risk assessment approaches in other industries

    Relevant approaches used in other industries were identified and reviewed in order to see if lessons could be drawn. Aviation, nuclear, offshore, process and railway industries were reviewed. All these industries have applied risk based assessment approaches, some of them for many years. Differences and similarities between these industries and the shipping industry, and possible reasons for the identified differences in their dealing with safety and environmental issues were discussed. It was suggested that major reasons for differences in the handling of safety and environmental matters may be that shipping is characterised by short design- and manufacturing time as compared to the other industries, combined with the international operations in different environmental conditions and social, economic and legal environments of shipping.

    3.2 Evaluation of current assessment methods

    The identified assessment methods were evaluated regarding their suitability to cover the assessment needs of potential users in the shipping community. Many different users were identified, with different needs and decision problems regarding safety and environmental assessments. It was concluded that instead of seeking a common "methodology", one should aim for a common "approach" for assessing safety and environmental impacts, based on an "optimal" combination of methods. However, it was realised that before such a combination can be identified and defined it is necessary to look into current and future needs of the potential users in more detail.

    3.3 Data availability and applicability and suggestions for an accident/ incident reporting scheme

    A study of the current state of the art of databases was performed and suggestions were given for necessary future data and data collection to provide necessary data for a common approach. There are several databases available at international, national and company level. The widely available international ones were found to contain a very limited amount of information and be of little use in risk analysis. The national ones were found to contain some more information but the population addressed is smaller and more regional, which will bias the data. Company level databases were found to have more useful information but these are in general not accessible by the public.

    The technical problems involved in designing an accident database suitable for a common approach need to be defined at a European level, including the formulation of data collection procedures. The same applies to the formulation of an incident database and to an incident reporting system.

    3.4 Integration of human and organisational factors in safety and environmental assessments

    Methods are available to assess human and organisational factors in risk based approaches, but there is currently no structure for integration of these assessments in any of the quantitative assessment methods, partly because the quantitative assessments traditionally have focussed on quantitative data, and partly because human and organisational factors has been dealt with in a qualitative way with very little data acquisition and statistical analysis. However, quantitative assessment methods are very seldom purely quantitative, as they normally contain elements of judgement, approximations and adjustments. The lack of human and organisational factors in quantitative assessments may therefore prove to be a result of lacking awareness and knowledge of such factors.

    A technique for a qualitative integration of human and organisational factors was suggested. In the long run, however, it was not seen satisfactory to leave human and organisational factors to qualitative evaluation only. One should aim to develop the knowledge of these factors through modelling, database developments and statistical analyses, and to integrate these factors in quantitative assessment algorithms.

    3.5 Regulatory requirements, and techniques for rule making

    A review of current regulations was done to identify demands and requirements for risk analysis, and regulations containing risk connotations were found, but the connotations were typically found to be hidden out in annexes or not being explicit. The regulatory system was generally found to lack clear statements of safety objectives and it was suggested that an introduction of risk based approaches could help structure the fundamental principles and thereby the regulations.

    It was found that Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) contain important elements for risk management and that FSA is as applicable to environmental consequences as for safety issues. The already existing "Interim Guidelines on the Application of Formal Safety Assessment for the IMO rule-making process" were reviewed and a number of suggestions were provided for improving the contents with the aim of facilitating the application of FSA for rule making.

    3.6 Aspects linked with the environmental sensitivity of marine areas

    The range of environmental aspects and sensitivities related to shipping was discussed in terms of types of pollution, including oil, chemicals, garbage, sewage, ballast water, Tributyltin (in anti-fouling systems), COx, SOx, NOx and noise, and types of areas likely to be sensitive to these pollutants. A method to identify sensitive areas and to perform environmental risk assessment based on FSA was suggested.

    As shipping is one actor in the transport market, in constant competition with other transport modes, the issue of fair competition was also discussed. The background for this discussion was the concern that environmental risk assessments limited to shipping alone would create an unbalanced picture of shipping related pollution, and possibly in some cases create an unbalanced focus on shipping. Based on this it was suggested that assessments of the environmental impact from ships should be performed and/or utilised with due attention to the total pollution picture, including the contributions from other transport modes and other sources of pollution, to enhance "fair competition" between the different transport modes. The objective should be to secure holistic assessments and to create a basis for sustainable combinations of transport modes.

    3.7 Necessary further research and development activities

    The results from the defined project tasks were also reviewed with regard to necessary further research and development activities to support and facilitate utilisation of a common safety and environmental assessment approach. The suggestions are outlined below.

    Common Safety and Environmental Assessment Approach

    Based on the review of potential users (actors/stakeholders in shipping) and their assessment needs, and the available methods for safety and environmental assessment, it was suggested that the aim should be a common European assessment approach. This approach should be designed to be common to all major actors and should therefore consist of several complementary and suitable methods to cover the users needs. Prior to the establishment of such an approach, one should perform further and more detailed investigations to concretise the various particularities of the different users and their specific or typical needs. Based on the investigation one should define an optimised and exhaustive approach with a set of suitable methods with a minimum of overlapping.

    Risk acceptance criteria

    Currently, no common and agreed risk levels are defined to determine whether or not a certain level of risk is commonly acceptable or not. Further research should try to establish a common set of sustainable risk acceptance criteria in Europe.

    The project also discussed the difficulties in decision-making when risk to human life and environmental values is to be held up against economic values. It was concluded that there is a need for an approach to balance the different values.

    Risk management

    There is a concern in the shipping community on how shipping as an industry can best utilise the knowledge created as a result of the International Safety Management Code - ISM.

    Also a concern is that the risks identified during the design stage are not sufficiently and consistently communicated to the operational phase. These topics should therefore be addressed further.

    Risk communication

    Risk is a function of frequency and consequence of undesired events. Currently, this concept seems not sufficiently understood outside the risk expert environments. E.g. while accidents with high frequencies but minor consequences may be considered as indicators of low risk, accidents with severe consequences but low frequencies may be considered as indicators of high risk, even though the risk level and the total losses should be the same. The result of this may be that only the "few big" accidents receive public and political attention while the "many small" accidents are ignored. One should aslo bear in mind that many of the "small" accidents could be precursors of more severe accidents. The safety culture in operation as well as the safety culture in the society will change only when the risk concept is adequately understood. Therefore, initiatives are proposed to improve risk communication.

    Organisational changes associated with the common approach

    The implementation of a common assessment approach within shipping implies changes in the way many organisations deal with safety and environmental issues. Some organisations are already implementing risk based approaches, while some other actors stick to a traditional way of dealing with safety and environmental issues. It is suggested that the organisational implications of the common assessment approach should be clarified.

    Case studies

    The effectiveness and usefulness of methodologies can only be verified/evaluated and optimised through case studies. It is therefore suggested that efforts should be made to gain sufficient upfront experience, with each methodology in the common assessment approach and with the approach as a whole.

    Human and organisational factors

    Further development is also suggested with regard to human and organisational factors. One should aim to develop the knowledge of these factors through modelling, database developments and statistical analyses, and to integrate these factors in quantitative assessment algorithms.


    In order to implement a common assessment approach it is necessary to have adequate data, suitable for the methodologies incorporated in the common approach. The design of such a database system, including the data collection procedures, have to be defined at a European level, when the structure of the common assessment id defined.

    4 Collaboration Sought

    4.1 General

    The CA-FSEA project was based on a collaboration between national representatives from 11 European countries, covering a range of roles with regard to safety and environmental assessment in shipping, including administration, class, consulting and research. The CA-FSEA Secretariat was a collaboration between Germanischer Lloyd (on behalf of EEIG Unitas) and Det Norske Veritas. The project also collaborated with some observers from shipping related organisations, who were invited to project meetings to present their views and give their comments on project documents. An overview of Participants and Observers is given in Chapter 6.

    4.2 Recommended Collaboration Soughts

    The CA-FSEA project activities - in the form of meetings, working groups, workshops and other communication covered a wide range of issues within the safety and environmental assessment area, and several suggestions for implementation and further development were generated as a result of these activities. All these suggestions call for various types of collaboration. Some suggestions for collaboration are given below, for each of the topics recommended for further research.

    Common Safety and Environmental Assessment Approach

    It is envisaged that the crucial step to succeed with regard to a common approach is that of obtaining a profound understanding of the decision problems and needs within shipping, including all major actors. Collaboration should therefore be sought with the range of actors, to understand the decision mechanisms within shipping and the kind of assessments needed.

    Risk acceptance criteria

    In order to establish a set of common objectives and risk acceptance criteria it is crucial that collaboration with national, European and international rule making is established, to promote risk based rule making in general and to identify and agree on objectives and criteria that can be drawn from the exisiting rules and regulations.

    Risk management

    In order to extract and utilise the aggregated risk management knowledge in shipping it is envisaged that collaboration should be sought with the ship owner organisations. The purpose of such collaboration would be to establish an experience retention system based on the structure of the International Safety Management Code - ISM.

    Risk communication

    In order to improve risk communication at large, it is crucial that rules and regulations address risk and use risk terminology. It is therefore suggested that collaboration should be sought with national, European and international rule/standard making bodies.

    Organisational changes associated with the common approach

    In order to clarify the organisational implications of a common risk based approach, it is necessary to understand how the actors in shipping are currently dealing with risk. It is envisaged that collaboration should be sought with the range of major actors in shipping, to identify and specify any changes needed in order to successfully implement a risk based approach.

    Human and organisational factors

    Before human and organiational assessments can be integrated in a common approach it is necessary that human and organisational factors are well documented in the form of models and statistical data. To achieve this, it is envisaged that collaboration must be established between experts in this area and those who develop the common approach, including the database system.


    The design of such a database system, suitable for the methodologies incorporated in the common approach, and the data collection procedures, have to be defined at a European level, when the structure of the common assessment approach is defined. Collaboration ahould therefore be sought with those who develop the common approach.

    Case studies

    In order to promote risk based approaches in general and to gain experience with assessment methodologies, and to ensure useful experience for the development of the common approach it is envisaged that case studies should be performed in collaboration with the major actors in shipping.

    5 Exploitation and Dissemination Plans

    Exploitation and dissemination of results have taken place on a general level throughout the project, as the project has involved an average of around 25 people from 11 countries over a period of 30 months. Through this wide involvement the project has contributed to the establishment of a common knowledge about methods for assessment of the safety and environmental impact of ships. The project has also contributed to a common understanding of how the methods can be applied to shipping. All results from the project have been or will be distributed to all those who have been involved in the project to allow for a direct exploitation within their organisations.

    In addition, the results are or will be made publically available via the CA-FSEA Web Site

    6 Partners and Partnership

    The Project Co-ordinators/Secretariat, the nominated national Representatives/ Participants and the invited Observers are listed below. For some of the national Representatives and Observers there were replacements or stand-ins, whos names are mentioned behind the name of the original Representative or Observer.


    Peter Securius , Germanischer Lloyd (on behalf of EEIG Unitas)
    Tel.: +49/40-36 149 558, Fax.: +49/40-36 149 200
    Email: (email removed)
    Addr.: Vorsetzen 32, D-20459 Hamburg, Germany
    Hallvard A. Vie , Det Norske Veritas
    Tel.: +47 67 57 84 58, Fax.: +47 67 75 75 20
    Email: (email removed)
    Addr. Veritasveien 1, N-1322 Hovik, Norway

    Participants attending at meetings and contributing to reports:

    António Balcão Reis , RINAVE-Consultadoria E Servicos, LDA
    Tel.: +351/1-303 01 00, Fax.: +351/1-303 01 09
    Email: (email removed)
    Addr.: Avenida Dom Vasco da Gama, 39 A, 1400 Lisboa, Portugal
    Mario Dogliani/Giovanni Guassardo , Registro Italiano Navale
    Tel.: + 39/10-538 5398, Fax.: + 39/10-591 877
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Via Corsica 12, 16121 Genova, Italy
    Carlos Guedes-Soares , Instituto Superior Técnico
    Tel.: + 351/1-841 76 07, Fax.: + 351/1-847 40 15
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Pavilhao Central - Av. Rovisco Pais, 1096 Lisboa, Portugal
    Kees Metselaar , Directorate for Transport Safety, Safety Management Division
    Tel.: + 31/70-351 -1519, Fax.: + 31/70-351 15 98
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: P.O.Box 20 904, 2500 EX The Hague, The Netherlands
    Sven Otto , Germanischer Lloyd AG
    Tel.: + 49/40-361 46 163, Fax.: + 49/40-361 49 200
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Postfach 11 16 06, 20416 Hamburg, Germany
    Jim H. Peachy/David Wright/ John Davison , Bay 2/02B, Marine Safety Agency (later: Maritime and Coastguard Agency) Tel.: + 44/1703-329 228, Fax.: + 44/1703-329 251
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton SO15 1EG, UK
    Ingmar PÃ¥lsson , SSPA Maritime Consulting
    Tel.: +46/31 772 90 00, Fax.: +46/31 772 91 24
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: P.O.Box 24001, S-400 22 Göteborg, Sweden
    Rolf Skjong/Eirik Soergaard , Det Norske Veritas
    Tel.: + 47/67 57 75 34 / 47 66 98 04 34 (home), Fax.: + 47/67 57 75 20
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Veritasveien 1, 1322 Hovik, Norway
    Harri Soininen , VTT Manufacturing Technology
    Tel.: + 358 9 456 62 23, Fax.: + 358 9 464 424
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Tekniikantie 12 - P.O. Box 17051, 02044 VTT, Finland
    Alexandro Theodoulides , Hellenic Register of Shipping
    Tel.: +30/1-42 21 900-909, Fax.: +30/1-42 21 914
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: 23, Akti Miaouli str., 185 35 Piraeus, Greece
    Claudia Vivalda , Bureau Veritas, Marine Division, Advanced Technology Department
    Tel.: +33/1-42 91 32 31, Fax.: +33/01-42 91 3395
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: 17 bis, Place des Reflets, La Defense 2, 92400 Courbevoie, France

    Participants attending at meeting(s):

    David S. Aldwinckle/D. K. Hart , Lloyd's Register of Shipping
    Tel.: +44/171-709 9166, Fax.: +44/171-488 4796
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: 71 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4BS, UK
    Jarl Andersin , Finnish Maritime Administration, Maritime Safety Dept.
    Tel.: +358-20-448 4437, Fax.: +358-20-448 4500
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: P.O. Box 171, 00181 Helsinki,
    Edmund Brookes , Chamber of Shipping
    Tel.: + 44/171-417 8400, Fax.: + 44/171-600 15 34
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Carthusian Court, 12 Carthusian Street, London, EC1M 6EB,
    Gerfried Brunn , Gesamtverband der deutschen, Versicherungswirtschaft
    Tel.: +32/2-282 47 33, Fax.: +32/2-282 47 39
    Addr.1: Glockengiesserwall 1, 20059 Hamburg, Germany
    (or: 4, rue J. de Lalaing, 1040 Bruxelles, Belgium)
    Gisli Viggosson , Icelandic Maritime Administration
    Tel.: +354/560 0000, Fax.: +354/560 0060
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Vesturvör 2, P.O.Box 120, 202 Kopavogur, Iceland

    Other Participants:

    Paulo Correia , Direcçao Geral de Portos, Navegaçao e Transportes Maritimos
    Tel.: + 351/1-395 78 66, Fax.: + 351/1-395 78 63
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: Edificio Vasco da Gama, Cais de Alcantara, Alcantara-Mar, 1350, Lisbonne, Portugal
    Lennart Nyh , Systecon AB
    Tel.: +46/8 459 07 73, Fax.: +46/8 459 07 80
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.: P.O.Box 5205, S-10245 Stockholm, Sweden
    Jean-Paul Peyron , DPNM/SN
    Tel.: +33/01-44 49 86 32, Fax.: +33/01 44 49 86 26
    Addr.: 3 place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris SP, France
    Juhani Sukselainen , VTT Manufacturing Technology
    Tel.: + 358 9 456 53 20, Fax.: + 358 9 455 06 19
    E-mail: (email removed)
    Addr.:Tekniikantie 12 - P.O. Box 1705, 02044 VTT, Finland
    Marco Vittorio , SMA
    Tel.: + 39/55-27 50 288, Fax.: + 39/55-716 369
    Addr.: Via del Monesteraccio, 5, 50124 Firenze, Italy


    Aida Bakri , PRISMA Transport Consultants (for INTERTANKO)
    Tel.: +41-22-346 76 46, Fax.: +41-22-347 02 01
    Email: (email removed)
    Addr.: 16 Rue Bellot, Case 269, 1211 Geneve 12, Belgium

    David Bedborough , BAWG OTSOPA
    Fax.: +44/1703-329 485
    Email: (email removed)
    Addr.: Marine Pollution Control Unit, Spring Place, 105 Commercial Rd, Southampton SO15 1EG, UK
    Tim Marking , European Community of Shipowners' Association
    Tel.: +32-2 511 39 40, Fax.: +32-2 511 80 92
    Email: (email removed)
    Addr.: Rue Ducale 45, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
    Graham Rabbitts/ Philip Holliday, Associated British Ports
    Tel.: +44 171 430 1177, +44 836 501678 (mob.), Fax.: +44 171 430 1384
    Email: (email removed)
    Addr.: 150 Holborn, London EC1N 2LR, UK

    (1) Disclaimer: The use of the results in this report shall be at the user's sole risk. No claim can be made neither to any of the contributing part nor to the Community in connection with the report.

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