Political disagreement preventing solutions

Administration can be tiresome but that is how it is, acknowledges the Chief Marine Officer in UNI-TANKERS A/S


So long as the EU cannot   agree to harmonise the admini- strative requirements for shipping, the industry and those serving in it will continue to be subject to administrative requirements that are seen as an unnecessary burden. If the politicians could agree on a common standard for example for port reports, it would make it much easier than it is today when every country has its own standard. The recently launched so-called Single Point Window system aims to make it easier to declare goods but with every country retaining its own standards, it has not helped much.


As the company’s represen- tative, Chief Marine Officer Lars Pihl Fly, UNI-TANKERS A/S, has been close to the administrative burden project, which has confirmed that external national and international requirements help increase the administrative demands on the shipping industry.


“These are requirements that the industry cannot control but which we have to comply with.

It is slightly tiresome but that is just how it is”,he says.


An attitude also shared by the company’s officers when the issue is debated at officer meetings. It is tiresome but part of the job.



The project has highlighted communication between ship and shore.

“E-mailing is fashionable and you may well get the impression when you see the volume of ship’s mail that some people believe that the captain sits  glued to the screen all day long. They forget that the ship has its daily routines. You can hardly imagine how many times the same question used to be emailed, for example the ship’s ETA. It only needs to be reported once now.”


A bit more space in daily routines

“The project has been an eye-opener in some areas such as communication but we are trying to tackle the administrative tasks that we can do something about.


At the same time as the project, we introduced a new reporting system between ship and shore, so that everything can now be managed from a single  programme.  Practically all the paperwork for the 2nd Officer is now electronic. That can perhaps create a little more space in their daily routines and give them time to help other groups with their administration, such as training the cook to use a computer for stores management in the galley.


Lack of political agreement

“I think that the project may have drawn attention to admini- stration but we need to be careful not to make tasks bigger than they really are. I don’t deny that they can be seen as  an irritating burden but that is just how it is in shipping right now. And so long as there is no political agreement to harmonise demands on the industry, we can hardly expect any changes to external requirements,” feels Lars Pihl Fly.