Shipping is by far the most globalised industry in Denmark. Less than a third of Danish shipping companies' turnover comes from routes to and from Europe. The remains are generated from international activities with the USA, China, Japan and Africa as the largest markets.
Long before the word globalisation entered our vocabulary, Danish shipping was internationally minded. Liberal trade principles have been the bedrock of Danish shipping policy, nationally and internationally, for as long as Danish shipowners have played a role in world trade.
The International Maritime Organization
For more than 50 years, the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set international standards and established binding safety and environment regulations for the shipping industry. The IMO has its headquarter in London and works through committees and sub-committees that meet regularly. The organisation has 170 member countries and decisions are made on a majority basis. A ship that fails to observe international IMO-regulation can experiece difficulties when sailing to other countries, because all port state control authorities are authorised to detain ships in breach of IMO international regulations.
The Organisation and the EU
Danish Shipping has always had an international focus. In accordance with the growing importance of the EU and the European Parliament in particular, we have strengthened our long-standing presence and efforts in Brussels.
In recent decades the EU has shown an increasing understanding of the shipping industry’s unique global nature and the need for international solutions. EU recognises that shipping is a global industry that will not fit in a one-size-fit-all Single Market structure. In several cases this has led the EU to open up markets and prevent protectionist measures. However, attention still needs to be focused in this area.
Consultative Shipping Group
Well-functioning interrelations between shipowners, authorities and governments have created a solid platform for Denmark's international efforts to maintain free trade conditions. Together, they strive to give Danish shipping the opportunity to develop a strong quality merchant fleet that currently carries as much as ten per cent of goods freighted internationally. Denmark also works to achieve an unprecedented global transport efficiency that benefits all.
That is also why it is hardly a coincidence that it was Denmark (the Danish Maritime Authority) that in 2007 assumed the presidency of the Consultative Shipping Group (CSG) from the United Kingdom, which had held the seat since the group’s inception in the 1960s. The CSG is an important collaborative organisation that addresses international shipping issues of political importance.
The CSG, a forum for maritime administrations in Western European countries and Japan, has now been extended to include Singapore, Canada, Poland and South Korea. The group discusses shipping policy with the USA and keeps a watchful eye on any attempts to establish protectionism around the world. It is also a fruitfull forum for dialogue on shipping policy in broader terms with input from the industry.