The Costa Concordia pictured on Jan. 14.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC), acting on behalf of the global cruise industry, announced Tuesday that the cruise industry has voluntarily adopted two new safety policies relating to the recording of passenger nationality and the common elements of musters and emergency instructions.  The new policies announced today are the latest developed as a result of  the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review and voluntarily adopted by CLIA members.

The Nationality of Passengers policy was developed in response to the request of governments at the May meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee meeting.  This policy prescribes that the nationality of each passenger onboard is to be recorded and made readily available to search and rescue personnel as appropriate.

Under the Common Elements of Musters and Emergency Instructions policy, member cruise lines have specified 12 common elements that will be communicated to passengers in musters and emergency instructions.  Among those common elements are a description of key safety systems and features and an explanation of emergency routing systems and recognizing emergency exits.  Both policies exceed current international regulatory requirements.

“Our industry continues to actively identify a range of measures that will improve the safety of passengers and crew, which is the top priority of the cruise industry,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA.  “Ongoing innovation in safety has been a hallmark of our industry for decades and we are fully committed to continuous improvement in shipboard operations and safety.  We are taking a holistic look at safety as has been evidenced by the breadth and scope of the numerous policies that have been developed and adopted as part of the Review since its launch earlier this year.”

“These new safety policies are representative of the industry’s commitment to raising standards across the global fleet and of our willingness to listen and act on good ideas brought forward by other interested stakeholders,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman of ECC. “Establishing common elements of a muster policy will provide our guests with the confidence that they are receiving the same key safety messages no matter which ship they cruise. Providing additional information on passengers’ nationality is a direct and immediate response to a good idea and, as with our other voluntary commitment, is applicable with immediate effect.”

The Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review receives advice and input from a panel of outside maritime and safety experts tasked with evaluating suggested policy improvements and improve safety measures by developing industry-wide best practices, ultimately for formal submission to the International Maritime Organization.

CLIA announced the launch of the Review on January 27, 2012 following the Costa Concordia disaster.  As a result of the Review, the global cruise industry has already instituted new policies requiring mandatory muster drills prior to departure from port. In March, the industry put forth recommendations to the IMO supporting enhanced reporting requirements to improve the consistency and transparency of marine casualty data.  Later in April, the cruise industry announced three policies addressing issues related to passage planning, personnel access to the bridge and lifejackets.

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