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Maritime Forum

Proceedings 1.10

Workshop "Maritime Heritage: A single market?"

(No. 1.10, 19 May 2010, 9:00 – 10:45)


Per Jessing, President European Maritime Heritage


Michael vom Baur, Former President of the European Maritime Heritage

Hendrik Boland, Vice-President of the European Maritime Heritage

Alan Edenborough, Project Director & Specialist Consultant, Sydney Heritage Fleet & Council member, International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM)

  1. Three key messages
  • Traditional ships ("maritime heritage afloat") offer a lot of added value in terms of visibility, identification and economic activity. However, there is no single market for these vessels and boats and bureaucratic obstacles with regard to movement, certificates and operations persist. Recommendation 1468/2000 of the Council of Europe never received appropriate follow-up and the EU should act on this.
  • For young people to keep up traditional skills and to make them interested in any kind of maritime employment we need to create a pan-European market for the traditional vessels still in operation. The upkeep of traditional ships also provides employment opportunities for people with specific skills and creates social networks.
  • Problems faced by traditional ships are not limited to Europe. Networking, exchange of best practice and a joint approach with partners around the world are essential.
  1. Summary of the interventions from the panel

Michael vom Bauer gave an overview of the actors involved and provided examples of the actual economic benefits derived from traditional ships and boats. The number of visitors at traditional ship events in Europe is estimated at 25 Mio. annually.

Ports are increasingly interested to present also their heritage and have committed to reserving some port space for this purpose.

Vom Bauer reiterated the links of the maritime heritage topic with the IMP basic documents.

Specifically, he suggested looking into four topics:

  • Acknowledge on EU and Member States level the importance of maritime heritage.
  • Eliminate legal inconsistencies with regard to traditional ships in operation.
  • Organise support for maritime heritage.
  • Discuss tax concessions, e.g. lower VAT rates for restauration works on ships and boats as is the case for houses.

Hendrik Boland elaborated on the regulatory issues at hand.

Traditional ships are subject to passenger ship rules when the number of guests on-board exceeds 12. This is despite the fact that traditional ships do not share the operational patterns of commercial passenger ships and sail in different conditions.

Even international voyage rules apply, incl. ILO regulations, when traditional ships cross borders. There is no EU single market.

The mutual recognition of ship certificates is not functional and cross-border sailing in European waters is often impeded. A true liberalisation is needed.

Interpretations of Directive EC/98/18 on safety rules and standards for passenger ships vary between Member States, posing additional operational impediments.

Alan Edenborough presented the Australian experience where a significant part of the heritage fleet is fully surveyed and certified. However, this approach is cumbersome and the question has been raised whether traditional ships should not be put into a special national category which would include all traditional and historic vessels.The AMMC (Australian Maritime Museums Council) and ARHV (Australian Register of Historic Vessels) have developed criteria to this end.

A global approach would be helpful. This should include standard parameters on compliance, clear rules for "moving monuments", and an integrated heritage vessel policy. Work with a selected classification society has started on a full set of appropriate technical and operational rules. The International Congress of Maritime Museums is working with bodies such as EMH to establish an international committee to guide and oversee this global approach.

An additional presentation was made by Jaime Rodrigo from the Galician Maritime Museum who spoke on the outdated related legislation in Spain. He emphasised the need to co-operate across Europe and presented a Manifesto recently elaborated in Spain.

  1. Discussion

The discussion focussed on the potential role of classification societies in the survey and certification of heritage vessels and the risk that rules would be used for commercial gain.

It was also discussed in how far EU Member States legislation and administrative structures differ.

Finally, it was brought to the attention of participants that there is still a lack of knowledge with regard to the most appropriate way to regulate. For example, not all wooden ships should be treated in the same way (e.g. with regard to fire risk).

  1. Presentations

Presentations and the Spanish Manifesto will be made available.

Contact person: R. Vopel, +32.2.2991820 or Per Jessing +46705100038