"There are several reasons why we have chosen to continue our environmental efforts. Carrying out environmental efforts takes time. Several of the initiatives the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) is working on are related to regulatory matters, and we need sufficient time to ensure optimum implementation. Therefore, we will continue to focus on the environment in 2020", says Lars Alvestad, Acting Director General.

Focus area work

The NMA’s main areas of responsibility are safety of life, health, environment and property ​​for vessels flying the Norwegian flag and for foreign vessels in Norwegian waters. In order to achieve the best possible results, it is important for the NMA to set priorities.

As part of this work, the NMA carries out an annual risk assessment of the fleet. This assessment is partly based on the accident status, fleet composition, movement pattern, audit findings, reports from the Accident Investigation Board Norway and reported concerns. The NMA has also invested considerable resources in conducting a survey of maritime personnel, which received more than 10 000 responses.

The NMA's focus area should permeate the entire organisation and serve as a guidance for how we work. A specific example of this is the surveyor’s checklists. Each year, surveyours are provided with dedicated campaign checklists to help them carry out inspections. This is an important and specific part of our efforts to set an annual focus area.


Selecting the annual focus area

Three main deliverables result from the risk assessment. The first deliverable is an updated assessment of accident risks for various Norwegian vessel categories. This enables each department in the NMA to make a risk-based prioritisation of tasks within its unit.

The second deliverable is a comprehensive causal analysis of events with a particularly high risk. These causal analyses form the basis for our risk prioritisation. The causal analyses start by identifying an undesirable event, and subsequently seek to find all direct, indirect and underlying causes of the event. This work helps the NMA to identify critical patterns of action where measures can be established.

The final deliverable is the NMA’s focus area. Using the risk assessment as a starting point, we put together an interdisciplinary group of experts who provide input to the NMA's focus area. The industry, represented by both employer organisations and trade unions, is also invited to participate. Input is prioritised and raised within the NMA's management team which subsequently selects next year's focus area.

Future environmental initiatives

At the beginning of September, the NMA held a workshop on environmental challenges, where approximately 100 experts from a number of different sections took part. The participants were divided into groups and were given the task to examine various issues related to the focus area. The topics raised in the group work included chemicals, reception facilities, ship waste, sewage and energy efficiency. This group work will form the basis for several specific environmental projects at the NMA during the coming year.