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Implementation of the Maritime Transport acquis Project Fiche - National Pre-Accession Programme 2003 - Malta Page 1 - final
STANDARD SUMMARY PROJECT FICHE _______________________________
1. BASIC INFORMATION
1.1 CRIS Number: 4573/06
1.2 Title: Maritime Safety through Implementation of the Maritime Transport Acquis
1.3 Sector: Maritime transport
1.4 Location: Malta Marit ime Authority, Malta
2.1 Overall Objectives
The overall objective of the project is to ensure that the Malta Maritime Authority has the required technical capacity, equipment and human resources to implement European Union standards in improving maritime safety through the monitoring of maritime traffic.
2.2 Immediate Objectives
The project has the purpose of:
• enhancing safety of navigation, • improving efficiency of traffic flow, and • reduction in risks of pollution and maritime casualties,
within Maltese ports, their approaches and territorial waters through the investment in the necessary technical and human resources in establishing an integrated vessel traffic monitoring and management information system (VTMIS).
2.3. Accession Partnership and NPAA priority
As part of Malta’s negotiations with the European Union and the process of alignment with the Transport Chapter of the Acquis Communautaire, the Government of Malta prepared a Maritime Transport Action Plan. This plan, with special focus on the maritime safety aspect of the Transport Chapter, aims at ensuring that by accession date Malta will be in a position to align itself with the relative provisions of the Acquis Communautaire, not only from the policy and legislative aspects, but also with regard to technical and operational implementation.
The project reflects the medium term Accession Partnership priorities concerning training of human resources, capacity building and organisational mechanisms to effectively execute the regulatory function in respect of safety of navigation and maritime pollution prevention.
Implementation of the Maritime Transport acquis Project Fiche - National Pre-Accession Programme 2003 - Malta Page 2 - final
The NPAA establishes that the Malta Maritime Authority should strengthen its monitoring functions in respect of safety of navigation and pollution control. The Maritime Transport Action Plan submitted to the European Commission in July 2001 also highlights the need of further investment in this area.
The NPAA also establishes that under the Fisheries Acquis Malta would need to invest in a satellite-based vessel monitoring system. This system is obligatory to monitor fishing vessels with a length in excess of 20 metres. Similar systems would also need to be established to facilitate border controls and search and rescue activities.
3.1 Background and Justification
On 27th June 2002 the EU has adopted Directive 2002/59/EC for establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system for maritime traffic (VTMIS) and repealing Directive 93/75/EC. The purpose of this Directive is the implementation of a system which would enhance the safety and efficiency of maritime traffic by allowing public authorities to monitor shipping navigating in waters under their jurisdiction and to improve response to accidents or potentially dangerous situations at sea. Eventually this would lead to a reduction in maritime casualties, loss of persons at sea, damage to property and maritime pollution.
The Maritime Safety Project submitted for funding under the Pre-Accession Funds 2002 includes a Twinning component whereby the Pre-Accession Advisor, assisted by short term experts, should provide the Malta Maritime Authority with advice on the development of the systems that are required to ensure compliance with the EU Directive 93/75 and the new VTMIS Directive 2002/59/EC. Henceforth, the technical specifications, human resources and administrative parameters required to establish the VTMIS would have been identified through the Twinning project mentioned above. Therefore, this maritime safety project would follow up on the actions recommended during the latter phase, particularly in respect of the implementation of the VTMIS for Malta. This would involve the procurement of the necessary equipment, infrastructure, technical hardware and software resources and the training of personnel who would manage and operate the VTMIS, and its integration with the dangerous goods database.
3.1.2. Ports and Shipping Traffic
Ports and maritime services have always played a very important role in the history and economic development of Malta, mainly because of the islands’ geographical position. The importance of maritime activities has increased with the development of the manufacturing and tourism industries and international shipping services. In recent years Malta has also upgraded its maritime package within a hub concept. Malta is now in a position to offer a comprehensive maritime package including facilities for the handling for all types of cargo and passengers, ship repair, bunkering and the provision of other maritime services.
Implementation of the Maritime Transport acquis Project Fiche - National Pre-Accession Programme 2003 - Malta Page 3 - final
During the last 5 years the number of ships calling in Maltese ports have increased by 18.5% reaching almost 6,300 ships, while the corresponding gross tonnage has increased by over 40%. This clearly shows that the local ports had to cater not only for the increase in volumes but more importantly for an increase in the size of vessels. This was mirrored by increases in cargo and passenger throughputs. The amount of dangerous goods carried, both in packaged form and in bulk, is also significant.
Shipping traffic has also grown in the anchorage areas around Malta, which are primarily used by vessels receiving bunkers, carrying out minor repairs, effecting crew changes or receiving supplies and provisions. This kind of traffic has more than doubled during the last 5 years, and now amounts to almost 2000 vessels per year.
Further more, since Malta is located in the middle of the Mediterranean its shores are often polluted by oil originating from vessels navigating both through its waters and on the adjacent high seas. It is estimated that 76% of all vessel traffic in the Mediterranean passes between Malta and Sicily, and over 70% of this traffic involve tankers carrying polluting goods. This is definitely an area of high concern for Malta.
Malta does not have a Vessel Traffic System. The only facility available for communication with ships is a Signalling Station, which often depends on the information submitted by ships themselves. Thus it does not provide for real-time information on ships transiting local waters or calling at local ports.
This increase in maritime traffic requires an investment in modern technology to be able to monitor effectively vessels navigating in local waters.
3.1.3. Institutions Relevant to the Project
The main administrative body responsible for maritime transport is the Malta Maritime Authority through its various Directorates. The Authority, an autonomous Government agency set up by law under the aegis of the Ministry for Transport and Communications, supervises the organisation of the primary maritime services. Therefore, the Authority shall be the designated authority in transposing the relative Maritime Transport Acquis.
The Merchant Shipping Directorate is responsible for all matters related to merchant shipping. The Directorate carries out most of the functions of a Flag State administration. This includes the registration of ships, the training and certification of seafarers, flag and port State control, the fostering of Malta’s relations in international shipping fora, as well as the administration and implementation of international maritime conventions and agreements.
The Ports Directorate, which is considered as the port authority for all the ports in Malta, has a regulatory and managerial role. It is responsible for port operations and exercises control over all port work. It also regulates commercial sea-craft plying solely in Maltese territorial waters. As a port regulator, the Directorate is concerned with key issues such as good order, navigation and pollution prevention and control in Maltese ports.
The Yachting Centres Directorate is responsible for the regulation, control, promotion and development of yachting centres and the administration of the registration and operation of small pleasure sea-craft.
Implementation of the Maritime Transport acquis Project Fiche - National Pre-Accession Programme 2003 - Malta Page 4 - final
The Armed Forces of Malta is responsible to carry out border controls and search and rescue activities, while the Ministry for Fisheries and Acquaculture is responsible to manage and monitor the fisheries policies, including the fisheries conservation zones.
3.2 Linked Activities
As referred to above the Malta Maritime Authority is involved in a Twinning project, which is lead by France, and financed under the Pre-Accession Funds Programme 2002. This project shall provide the basis for institution building of the administrative capacity and the necessary advice on the procurement of equipment. Its results shall directly affect the outcome of objectives of this Project Fiche.
A very important linked activity in order to be in a better position to implement the acquis and ensure the success of the project is the strengthening of