A motion for the need of qualification and authorisation of Marine Surveyors by the European Union, was presented at the Maritime Industries Forum held in Helsinki 5-6 June 2000. Three Sea Captains: Ian Biles (UK, President of the IIMS), Esa Anttio (Finland) and Erik Hammarstrom (Sweden) acted as representatives of the International Institute of Marine Surveyors IIMS.
The Forum has brought together EU level representatives of the different fields of the maritime industries who now have a far better understanding of the different problems affecting each field. The importance of competitive and successful marine activity and it's significance to other shipping sectors such as shipbuilding, insurance/security, classification, brokerage and harbours has become much clearer.
Some of the items on the agenda of the Helsinki conference were resources for shipbuilding, maritime personnel resources in the EU and the future prospects and financial aspects in the fields of shipbuilding and maritime. The Erika-vessel accident was also a subject of lengthy discussion.
There were representatives from all the EU countries, The EU commission, The EU parliament and observer members from Estonia, Norway and Poland amongst others. Also represented were the Committee of EC Shipbuilders Associations, The European Marine Equipment Council, The European Co- operation in Maritime Research, The EC Association of Shipbrokers & Agents and The Committee for R&D in European Shipbuilding to name a few. All in all there was representation from Europe's shipbuilders and product suppliers, to shipbrokers and the Fishing Union right up to the Pilots Union.
The delegation of the International Institute of Marine Surveyors explained in great detail the objective of the delegation they were representing, which was to achieve EU authorization and a joint qualification requirement for all Marine Surveyors and inspection companies throughout the European Union. Great progress was made on this matter in the opinion of the 3-man delegation. In the summary it was suggested that an American style "European Coast Guard" system could be used to monitor vessels and qualifications. The secretary general for the conference, Mr. Graham Clarke confirmed to Captain Esa Anttio after the conference, that the process of EU Authorization of Marine surveyors, as presented at the conference, will be taken up at the international conference summary and into the working group procedure.