Release Date: 07 July 2008
Release ID: 1420
“With its proposed new Act on Ports and Fairways, the Government will facilitate the safety of navigation, efficient transport at sea and sustainable use and management of fairways.The Act also contributes to the efficiency and safety of port operations, which in turn improves the competitiveness of sea transport,” said Helga Pedersen Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs after the Government presented its proposal to the Storting.
Social development requires a modern and dynamic legislation and is necessary in order to reach the Government’s goal of more seaborne transport of goods. Consequently, the Act mainly provides a legal framework, while detailed rules will be presented through regulations. Thus the Act takes into account the diversity of ports and various needs for provisions on management of fairways.
“Efficient port services are crucial for the population along the coast and for economic growth throughout the country. The new Act on Ports and Fairways will be an important instrument for strengthening safety at sea and improving navigation along the coast. Further, the Act is an important means to increase the use of sea transport as an efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transport. The Act also improves ports opportunities to operate efficiently, and the municipalities are stimulated to give priority to develop their ports and port activities,” says the Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs.
Major proposals regarding the management of fairways:
* The Act proposes to give the municipalities’ general administrative responsibility for safety and navigation in municipal sea areas while the State will be responsible for the regulation on main and secondary transport corridors, other sea areas and for infrastructure for navigation.
* The Act proposes to prohibit the use of vessels which may endanger, harm or disrupt the safety of navigation or transport in fairways or ports.
* The Act proposes to clarify the legal basis for interventions towards vessels in distress or in need of assistance.
Major proposals regarding port operations:
* The Act proposes a general right to call at ports.
* The Act proposes to extend the municipalities’ authorities to organise port activities and to elucidate the distinction between public port management and port services.
* The Act proposes to continue the rules for separate finances in the ports – hereinafter called port capital.
* The Act proposes limited authority to pay dividends and returns from the port capital pursuant to regulations laid down by the Ministry.
* The Act proposes the replacement of port fees with general pricing of port services.
* The Act proposes permission to apply for waivers from the regulation on the port capital.
* The Act proposes that the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs may designate ports that are particularly important, and that further requirements may be stipulated for these ports regarding organisation, cooperation and planning.
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