DOI link for Maritime safety
Maritime safety book
The introductory part of this chapter contains a short survey of development of legal framework regulating maritime safety, as well as consideration of Croatian position concerning safety and security. Basic characteristics, structure and functions of the Croatian government bodies relevant for the adoption of national maritime strategy and for implementation of international instruments of maritime law in general are set forth through the second part, focusing on maritime administration and especially on the role of harbour masters’ offices. Further on there is a special part dedicated to the important role of prevention in the field of maritime safety containing a review of the main international conventions adopted by the international organizations concerning maritime safety and protection of the marine environment, as well as their implementation in the national legislation of the Republic of Croatia. The central part is dedicated to the Maritime Code of the Republic of Croatia, which was adopted in 2004 and since then has been amended several times. Since Croatia became a Member State of the European Union, one of the main purposes for the last amendments, which were adopted by the Croatian Parliament in 2019, was harmonization of the provisions of the Maritime Code with the acquis communautaire, whereas the other motive was harmonization of the national law with certain provisions of the 2007 Nairobi Wreck Removal Convention. The major changes are also contained in the introductory part of the 2019 Amendments Act, with significant modifications of the definitions of ship, boat and yacht, also introducing entirely new concepts by determining definitions of autonomous vessel, traditional vessel and large passenger yacht. The 2019 Maritime Code Amendments Act additionally regulated various aspects related to navigation safety, investigations of marine accidents, search and rescue service, inspection service, pollution response measures, and pilotage. Furthermore, in this part of the Croatian chapter, there is a detailed explanation of the issues of security of maritime ships and ports open to international traffic, which have been regulated by the Ships and Port Facilities Security Act of 2017. Besides becoming a party to most of the IMO conventions, the Republic of Croatia has implemented their provisions into its national maritime law: the Maritime Code and other laws and regulations. Following sections represent description and survey of development of the systems of control and enforcement in Croatia, since the country became a party to required IMO and ILO international conventions, and thus fulfilled the conditions for joining the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. The Maritime Code in its sections regulating the safety of navigation prescribes the required safety conditions of the sea lanes and traffic separation schemes in the internal waters and territorial sea of the Republic of Croatia, of its ports, ships, small boats and floating crafts registered in Croatia, places of refuge, categories of navigation and vessel traffic system. The role of the Coast Guard in enforcement of maritime safety regulations is also described within this part, whereas the next section deals with implementation of those international instruments which regulate the shipowner’s civil liability for damages to the marine environment. Finally, in the concluding remarks, arguments are set forth to demonstrate that during the three decades since Croatia gained independence, maritime safety has been a significant factor and a guideline in national maritime policy, which has asserted this approach by preparing and developing maritime legislation compatible with the legal framework created by the IMO and the EU.