Interaction of international and national legislation

Interaction of international and national legislation in shipping safety and security

E. Belinskis H.Cernovs A.Gailis K.Sedovs MAL

Each shipping flag state and especially member states of the European Union have to take responsibility for ensuring shipping safety in its waters of jurisdiction as well as EU common waters by paying special attention to adapting national legislation according to EU directives and international legislation.
Countries have to follow the development of EU legislation and laws and regulations of international maritime organizations, and to respond to changes by implementing the latest shipping regulations as well as ensuring execution of such legislation at all operational levels. Therefore - state national legislation has to be adjusted to EU and international laws and regulations.
Safety and security in shipping is controlled by international, EU and national legislations, which create an extra level of complexity in managing the development of regulations, their implementation by transport operators and their enforcement by appropriate authorities. Therefore, clarifying the responsibilities and required capabilities of all participants as well as a practical implementation of applicable legislation is important in order to manage efficiently the overall shipping security and safety improvements.
This study provides an overview of the International and Latvian national legislations; it examines current practices highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the existing legislations and suggests key improvement areas.

Specific areas addressed include:

1. Evaluation of the status of sea territories and their characteristics according to international and Latvian jurisdiction;
2. Development of capabilities at national level in the Republic of Latvia to enforce international shipping safety laws;
3. Review state national shipping safety legislation compliance with international laws and regulations based on practices adopted by the Republic of Latvia.
EU institutions such as EMSA and ESPO as well as the Maritime Administration of Latvia and Latvian Coast Guard Service, whose main duty is to ensure a shipping safety services,  are referenced in the study.
The research is based on public information and international and national laws and regulations, which are substantial. This implicitly confirms an assumption that maritime related events are in the focus of attention of the international community.

The main target stakeholders of the study are:

1.  Policy makers interested in rationalization or harmonization of regulatory requirements and interactions between   regulation enforcement by competent authorities;
2.  Ship and  Port operators  who wish to check regulatory issues;
3.  Authorities related to  shipping control;
4.  Ships.

The main objectives of this study are to:

1.  Clarify the interaction of international and national legislation as exemplified by Latvian national maritime legislation
2.  Explain the classification of the sea territories
3.  Analyse the key goals and activities of national maritime authorities in context of maritime security
4.  Provide practical examples of state control over shipping safety in the territorial waters of Latvia, including harbours.