Maritime transport is a market in continuous growth and most articles connected with it require special certification. Among other requirements, any article must pass safety standards which are covered by international agreements.
Health and safety in international maritime transport
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is the UN’s specialised agency that deals with the safety and protection of international maritime transport and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. It was created by virtue of an agreement adopted on March 17, 1948 in Geneva, under the auspices of the United Nations, and met for the first time in January 1959. It currently has 172 Member States.
In the beginning, its remit revolved around the drawing up of international agreements and regulations on safety and prevention of marine pollution. The first task of the IMO when it was created in 1959, was to adopt a new version of the International Convention for the Safety of Human Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention), the most important of all maritime safety treaties.
The main objective of the SOLAS Convention is to establish minimum standards for the safety of the construction, equipment and use of ships. Flag States are responsible for ensuring that ships flying their flag comply with the provisions of the Convention, which prescribes the issuance of a series of certificates as proof that this has been done.
The global dimension of shipping requires the European Commission to implement and support the international regulatory framework for maritime safety.
Harmonisation across the EU solves these problems. Directive 2014/90 / EU together with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/773 and other international instruments, establish common rules to eliminate differences in the application of international standards through a series of clearly identified requirements and uniform certification procedures.
The free movement of goods is a cornerstone of the European single market and the EU has developed original and innovative instruments to eliminate barriers to the free movement of goods. The mechanisms established to achieve this objective are based on the prevention of new obstacles to trade, mutual recognition and technical harmonisation.
MarED (Marine Equipment Directive)
The Marine Equipment Directive (MarED) provides a framework for coordination and cooperation between its members, the Commission and observers in the implementation of the Maritime Equipment Directive. It is the intention of MarED to be a conduit for the exchange of information among the members and to harmonise technical aspects. In addition, MarED aims to resolve areas of doubt to enable a consensus to be reached on the procedures of EC-type examination and type examination modules in order to avoid differences between Notified Bodies.
AITEX’s role as a Notified Body
AITEX is Notified Body number 0161 and can issue marine equipment certificates for fire protection, accredited under EN ISO/IEC 17065:2012 and is recognised by the IMO. The Institute is approved to issue certificates for the following articles:
- MED/3.1: Primary deck coating
- MED/3.3: Firefighting equipment: Protective clothing (immediate proximity)
- MED/3.5: Firefighting equipment: Gloves
- MED/3.13: Non-combustible material
- MED/3.18: Flame-retardant surfaces and floor coatings
- MED/3.19: Upholstery, curtains and other hanging textiles
- MED/3.20: Upholstered furniture
- MED/3.21: Bedding
For more information:
AITEX’s Fire Behaviour Laboratory: firstname.lastname@example.org