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Assessing Concepts, Systems and Tools for a Safer, more Efficient and Lower Operational Cost of the Maritime Transport of Dangerous Good

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies


Background & Policy context

Extensive international efforts aiming to improve the safety of vessel operations and ensure the containment of transport-related maritime pollution are underway with the objective of avoiding severe ship casualties and their disastrous consequences. Particular attention is focussed on preventing oil spills from vessels, as well as pollution from other kinds of dangerous cargo. In general, the safe containment of dangerous cargo - be it crude oil, liquefied gas or multi-use containers - is a question of major concern in maritime transport.



SEALOC aimed to provide recommendations for the improvement of safety in maritime transport of dangerous goods in Europe, using cost effectiveness analysis. To achieve this objective, the project relied on three case studies using the Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) methodology.

The main objectives of SEALOC were to:

  • analyse and quantify consequences from the 'Amoco Cadiz' accident in 1978;
  • evaluate safety issues in the Mediterranean Sea concerning the transport of liquefied gas;
  • evaluate safety aspects of container transport on board vessels in the North Sea;
  • assess safety gaps in current operations, rules and procedures;
  • recommend enhancements for information and communication concepts.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


SEALOC has produced:

  • a Safety Assessment Philosophy - elaborated using the FSA methodology that was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for its own rule-making process - which makes it possible to consider individual ships and installations and develop tailored safety management systems, for example within the framework of the ISM Code;
  • three case studies, on the 'Amoco Cadiz' crude oil tanker accident, on the transport of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the Mediterranean Sea, and on the transport of containers in the North Sea, in which the potential hazards during the whole shipping operation from harbour to harbour were identified and evaluated;
  • a safety assessment for the these three scenarios, comprising activity descriptions, hazard identification, accident event analyses, assessment of frequency and consequences of accidents, and risk control measures addressed by various regulations;
  • a model for quantitative risk evaluation in the transport of dangerous goods for the categories crude oil, LPG and container service;
  • recommendations for the use of safety assessment to apply risk control measures, such as:
    • developing an overall systems approach to maritime safety including inland activities (like packaging, container stowage, labelling, or emergency resources),
    • further development and use of telematic solutions for providing information management on dangerous cargoes on board and their instant location,
    • setting quantitative safety targets for maritime transport and quality management systems for inland activities, such as for packing and containerisation or for companies involved in the total supply chain,
    • establishing and maintaining an accident database that includes the cost of accidents, to enable cost-benefit analysis,
    • encouraging the establishment of a maritime safety culture,
    • setting education and training standards, particularly for inland activities,
    • developing and applying measures to reduce the effect of fatigue on maritime safety,
    • researching into human factors,
    • developing state-of-the-art ship to ship and ship to shore communications and ship identification for enhancing emergency response and waterborne traffic management,
    • improving the safety in and around ports and terminals,
    • Policy implications

      The project's findings, supported by several other analyses, indicate that with few exceptions, adequate regulations are in force, but there is a problem with low compliance. Tools such as FSA and SEALOC's Safety Assessment Philosophy should be used systematically for the assessment of safety regulations and for the development of safety routines, in accordance with the ISM Code, in order to identify technical and safety gaps and support regulatory enforcement. SEALOC has highlighted the importance of improving the implementation of safety measures and has recommended a centralised European agency with access to all relevant information to accomplish this task.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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