This article presents a comprehensive review of the maritime safety regimes and provides recommendations on how to improve the system. The results show a complex legal framework which generates a high amount of inspections and overlapping of inspection areas where no cross-recognition is established by the various stakeholders. While the safety system seems to be successful in eliminating substandard vessels and while average insurance claims costs are substantially lower for inspected vessels than non-inspected vessels, the results indicate that the economic conditions of the shipping market also have an effect on safety quality besides the frequency of inspections. No significant differences can be found between industry inspections and port state control inspections with respect to decreasing the probability of casualty. The system could be made more effective by combining data sources on inspections and using them respectively to improve risk profiling and to decrease the frequency of inspections performed on ship types such as tankers. The results further indicate a lack of proper implementation of the International Safety Management Code (ISM code) and conventions with reference to working and living conditions of crew (ILO 147). A revision of the ISM code and more emphasis on enforcement of ILO 147 could further enhance the level of safety at sea. The authors would like to thank several inspection regimes for their cooperation in providing inspection data and in allowing the observation of surveys and inspections on 26 vessels. In addition, the authors would like to acknowledge the data providers for the casualty data, Clarksons for the economic data as well as two P&I Clubs in making data on insurance claims available.

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Keywords transport geography, transport planning
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Series ERIM Article Series (EAS) , Econometric Institute Reprint Series
Journal Transport Reviews: a transnational, transdisciplinary journal
Knapp, S, & Franses, Ph.H.B.F. (2010). Comprehensive Review of the Maritime Safety Regimes: Present Status and Recommendations for Improvements. Transport Reviews: a transnational, transdisciplinary journal (Vol. 30, pp. 241–270). doi:10.1080/01441640902985934