This article develops a method to measure the effect of the major international conventions in the area of safety, pollution, search and rescue and work related measures. It further distinguishes between the effect of entry into force and the status of ratification of a convention by its parties. Standard econometric models are used and the analysis is based on a unique dataset of 30 years of monthly data where the models also correct for other factors which can influence safety such as safety inspections and ship economic cycles. The results show a complex picture where the average time between adoption and entry into force was calculated to be 3.1 years. Overall, the more parties ratify a convention, the more likely safety is improved and pollution is decreased although one can detect a certain level of non-compliance. The immediate effect of entry into force presents a mixed picture where most negative effects can be found with legislation in the area of safety management and pollution, followed by technical areas. The effect of legislation in the areas related to working and living conditions and certification and training is smallest. Seasonality can be found with peaks in December and January for all conventions but are less important for pollution.

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Keywords Casualty first events, Effect of ratification, Effectiveness of international shipping legislation, Lagged variables, Legislative milestones, Ordinary least squares, Pollution, Safety management, Seasonality, Serial correlation, Time series, econometrics, legislative implementation, numerical model, pollution control, port operation, safety, search and rescue, shipping, training
Persistent URL,
Series Econometric Institute Reprint Series
Journal Marine Policy
Knapp, S, & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (2009). Does ratification matter and do major conventions improve safety and decrease pollution in shipping?. Marine Policy, 33(5), 826–846. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2009.03.005