Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has signed the new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) rules into law, with operators required to comply with the new regime from July 1, 2014. This signing marks the most significant change to the New Zealand domestic commercial shipping framework in 15 years.
MOSS makes it clear that an entire maritime operation, rather than just a vessel, needs to be examined to ensure all safety risks are identified and managed. Under MOSS, operators of vessels are intended to exercise greater influence and control over their business, with regulatory oversight provided by Maritime New Zealand (MNZ).
“The rules have been developed in close consultation with industry, and with improved operator safety as the guiding principle,” said MNZ director Keith Manch. “Statistics show the maritime sector, and the fishing industry in particular, is one of the most dangerous workplaces in New Zealand – MOSS is designed to tackle this issue.
“Operators know their operations best. They understand the potential risks involved and how to manage those risks, so they are best placed to develop safety systems specific to their operations.”
“I believe MOSS strikes the right balance between ensuring operators take control of developing and implementing their own safety system, and providing the right amount of regulatory oversight for these systems,” said Mr Manch.
The principles guiding MOSS are:
MNZ is holding a series of briefings for operators and surveyors later this year to explain their role in the new system. More in-depth interactive workshops will take place in early 2014, for all interested operators and surveyors, but particularly those operators who need to apply to enter MOSS before July 1, 2014. About 60 operators will enter MOSS each month.
MNZ will also consult with industry on the MOSS fees and charges. This process will commence within the next week.
For more information about MOSS, including a full rundown of operator responsibilities, key dates, or to register your interest in attending a briefing or workshop, visit maritimenz.govt.nz/moss.
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