MSF Note: As we have announced, we are in the process of finalizing a broader paper on the need for a Maritime Policy and a Maritime Security Strategy for Romania in which the approach encompasses both military and civilian domains. An important chapter of the paper will deal with: the importance of the maritime and river sector in the Romanian economy and the implementation of the resilience process in this sector.
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Resilience and importance of the maritime and fluvial sector in the Romanian economy-Editorial
Romania has a strategic interest in the maritime sector, given its privileged geographical position on the Black Sea and access to the Danube, which offers opportunities for the development of maritime and river transport, the shipbuilding industry and maritime tourism.
As regards the development of own maritime vessels, this must be one of the priority objectives of the national maritime strategy, with the aim of stimulating innovation and competitiveness, developing technological capabilities and increasing exports. Romania has a long tradition in shipbuilding, and there are currently a number of Romanian companies producing ships and equipment for the maritime industry as well as for the offshore oil and gas industry.
The existence of own maritime vessels can bring several economic benefits to Romania. Firstly, it can reduce dependence on ship imports, which can lead to an increase in production capacity and the creation of new jobs in the shipbuilding sector. Secondly, it can increase the competitiveness of the Romanian maritime sector and contribute to the development of external markets.
However, building own maritime vessels is an expensive investment and requires careful planning and a long-term development strategy. This requires the development of research and development capacities, increased innovation and modernisation of production processes, and good cooperation between Romanian and foreign companies.
The maritime sector is of significant importance in the Romanian economy, as it is responsible for a number of key economic and social activities.
Seaports are an important gateway for goods and products to and from other countries. They facilitate international trade and are vital for the import and export of goods worldwide. In addition, maritime transport is an important source of income for shipping companies as well as for workers in the sector.
Port activities, such as storage, loading and unloading of goods, are another important source of income and jobs. These include port operators, who service ships and goods, as well as ancillary staff such as carriers and port equipment operators.
Shipping is another important branch of the maritime sector, producing ships and other marine equipment. This includes shipbuilding, ship repair and modernisation, and the production of marine equipment such as engines, radar and safety equipment.
Maritime tourism is another important source of income for the Romanian economy. The Black Sea coastline and the Danube Delta attract millions of tourists every year, who visit these areas for sunbathing, water sports, fishing and other recreational activities.
In conclusion, the maritime sector is of major importance to the Romanian economy, generating significant revenues and jobs for a variety of key economic and social activities.
Implementing the resilience process in this sector
The resilience process in the maritime sector is important to address challenges such as climate change, sea level rise, extreme weather events, oil spills and other threats to the marine environment and the maritime economy. Here are some examples of resilience measures that can be implemented in this sector:
Port infrastructure needs to be adapted to new environmental conditions, such as rising sea levels and the frequency of extreme weather events. This may include strengthening of docks and flood protection dams, as well as revising evacuation and disaster response plans.
Advanced technology can help reduce polluting emissions and improve the energy efficiency of ships. This can include the use of low-emission engines, hybrid propulsion technologies and fuel optimisation technologies.
Maritime tourism can be developed in a sustainable way by promoting responsible tourism and eco-friendly practices in all aspects of tourism activities, such as waste management, reduction of energy consumption and use of renewable energy sources.
Establishing a rapid disaster response system is important to deal with extreme events such as oil spills and natural disasters. This can include training of port staff and ships’ crews as well as the development of response technologies and equipment.
In conclusion, implementing a resilience process in the maritime sector is essential to protect the marine environment and ensure a sustainable maritime economy. By adapting port infrastructure, developing marine technology, promoting sustainable tourism and developing disaster response capacity, the maritime sector can become more resilient and sustainable in the face of current and future challenges.
The importance of the maritime sector in the Romanian economy
The maritime sector in Romania makes a significant contribution to the national economy, being an important driver of economic growth and job creation. According to data from the Romanian Maritime Authority, in 2021, the maritime sector generated a turnover of €3.3 billion and the number of employees in this sector exceeded 65,000 people. The maritime sector is also responsible for 65% of Romania’s foreign trade, which shows its importance for the national economy.
In addition to these economic aspects, the maritime sector is also of strategic importance for Romania. Romania has an important geostrategic position on the Black Sea, which is considered to be one of the most important maritime routes in Europe. This strategic position means that Romania’s maritime sector has huge potential for development and is of significant importance for Europe’s security and prosperity.
Current challenges for the maritime sector
However, Romania’s maritime sector faces a number of challenges that may affect its development. These include climate change, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, oil spills and other threats to the marine environment and the maritime economy.
Climate change and sea level rise are two major issues facing the maritime sector in Romania. According to a report by the World Meteorological Organisation, sea levels have risen in recent years by about 3.7 mm per year, which can lead to flooding and other problems for port infrastructure. In addition, climate change may also affect fishing, which is an important industry for the Romanian economy.
In addition to these problems, the maritime sector also faces the risk of oil spills and other threats to the marine environment, such as pollution
Oil spills and marine pollution
Oil spills are a major problem for the maritime sector, both economically and environmentally. These accidents can lead to loss of life, significant damage to the marine environment and significant costs for clean-up and recovery of affected areas.
In recent years, Romania has witnessed several oil accidents, the most recent being the one that occurred in November 2021, when the oil tanker Agia Trias spilled fuel in the port of Constanta. This spill affected an important area for fishing and tourism, and its clean-up required significant efforts and high costs.
Pollution of the marine environment is another problem faced by Romania’s maritime sector. It can be caused by dumping of waste and sewage as well as oil spills. Pollution can affect human health and safety as well as marine flora and fauna, which can have a significant impact on the maritime economy.
Resilience process in the maritime sector
To meet these challenges, the maritime sector in Romania needs to implement a resilience process. This process refers to the maritime sector’s ability to adapt to climate change and other threats to the marine environment and maritime economy by identifying and implementing sustainable solutions.
Implementing a resilience process in the maritime sector can bring a number of benefits. These include increased safety for workers in the sector, protection of the marine environment and biodiversity, and reduced clean-up and recovery costs following oil spills or other unwanted events.
To implement a resilience process, the Romanian maritime sector needs to consider a number of measures. These include investments in technology and infrastructure, as well as increasing the capacity to respond to unwanted events through training and education of staff and other stakeholders in the maritime sector.
Evolution over time of the civilian fleet
Romania’s civilian fleet has not evolved significantly in recent years. Prior to 1990, Romania had a considerable fleet of commercial vessels transporting goods and passengers worldwide.
According to data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), in 1990, the Romanian civil fleet consisted of 521 ships with a total carrying capacity of over 4.4 million tonnes. These ships were used for the transport of goods such as oil, petroleum products, minerals, cereals, wood, etc., but also for the transport of passengers.
After the fall of the communist regime and the beginning of the economic transition, Romania’s civil ship fleet went through difficult times. Due to economic problems, many ships were sold or taken out of service, which led to a significant decrease in the transport capacity of the civil fleet.
However, in recent years, Romania has started timidly to revitalise its civilian fleet. According to the Ministry of Transport, the Romanian civil fleet currently consists of around 70 ships with a total carrying capacity of over 400,000 tonnes. These ships are used to transport goods such as oil, petroleum products, grain, metals, etc.
In addition, the Romanian Government has adopted a number of policies and measures to support the development of the civil ship fleet and to promote the country’s maritime interests. For example, in 2019, the Government adopted the Romanian-flagged Ship Registration Programme, which aims to increase the number of ships registered under the Romanian flag and promote Romania’s image as a maritime state.
The case for a civilian fleet
At present, Romania does not have a significant civilian ship fleet. Most of the ships sailing under the Romanian flag are small vessels carrying cargo on the Danube or in the Black Sea. Compared to other countries in the region, such as Bulgaria, Greece or Turkey, the Romanian fleet is quite small and outdated.
There are several arguments for establishing a civilian fleet for Romania. Firstly, shipping is an important sector of the global economy, generating significant revenues. For example, in 2019, the global shipping industry generated more than $4 trillion in revenue and provided jobs for more than 50 million people. Developing a civilian ship fleet for Romania could help create jobs in the shipping industry and generate significant revenue for the country’s economy.
Secondly, the development of a civilian ship fleet could enhance Romania’s economic interests in international shipping. Currently, shipping is dominated by countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, which have some of the largest fleets of ships in the world. By developing its own fleet, Romania could increase its influence in the maritime sector and enhance its ability to promote its economic interests.
Thirdly, developing a civilian fleet for Romania could enhance the country’s national security. By owning its own fleet, Romania would have more control over the transport of goods and the safety of ships sailing under its flag. Developing its own fleet could also increase the country’s ability to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters or acts of terrorism.
Reasons for establishing the Romanian flag for civilian ships
The establishment of the Romanian flag for civilian ships was motivated by several factors. Among them are:
Reduction of operating costs: A large part of the operating costs of civil ships are related to the payment of taxes and duties to the country where they are registered. The establishment of a Romanian flag for civil ships can help reduce these costs, as Romania can offer more favourable taxation and more efficient administration.
Access to finance: Vessels registered under the Romanian flag can benefit from easier access to finance, as Romania has cooperation agreements with several international organisations that provide funding for the maritime industry.
Ensuring safety standards: The establishment of the Romanian flag can help to ensure safety standards for civilian ships sailing under this flag. Romania can monitor and verify how safety standards are respected and ships that do not comply can be withdrawn from circulation.
Promoting the national brand: The establishment of the Romanian flag can help to promote the national brand and increase the prestige and international recognition of Romania as a country with a strong maritime tradition.
The establishment of the Romanian flag for civil ships can also contribute to the creation of new jobs and the development of the national economy. By registering ships under the Romanian flag, greater use of Romanian ports can be ensured, which can lead to the development of port infrastructure and other related services such as transport and logistics.
Does Romania currently have a flag for maritime vessels?
Romania has a national flag for seagoing ships, which is represented by the tricolour flag of Romania and is internationally recognised by the International Maritime Organisation. Ships registered under the Romanian flag are subject to the regulations and standards imposed by the Romanian state. However, the number of ships sailing under the Romanian flag is relatively small compared to other maritime countries in the region. The Romanian flag registration code is ROU, and this means that Romanian ships register this flag code in international maritime documents and communications. By registering its flag with the IMO, Romania has confirmed its status as a maritime state and demonstrated that it can assume its responsibilities in international commercial shipping.
Romania has registered its flag with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) since 1976, when it joined the organisation. Since then, the Romanian flag has been officially recognised by the international community and Romanian ships have sailed under this flag all over the world. It is important to note that flag registration with the IMO is not a one-time process, but a continuous process that involves meeting the standards and regulations imposed by the organisation.
Romania’s flag registration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is still valid today. The Romanian flag is officially recognised by the international community and Romanian ships continue to sail under this flag throughout the world.
Romania also maintains its status as a maritime state and assumes its responsibilities for international commercial shipping by complying with the standards and regulations imposed by the IMO. By registering the national flag with the IMO, Romania can promote the country’s maritime interests and ensure the protection of the rights and interests of ships flying the Romanian flag.
Romania’s advantages by registering a full Romanian flag at the IMO for ships wishing to sail under the Romanian flag
The registration of a Romanian flag of convenience at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) can bring several advantages to Romania in terms of shipping and maritime industry.
One of the main advantages is the possibility to register foreign ships under the Romanian flag of registry. Thus, ship owners who wish to sail under the Romanian flag would benefit from lower tax rates than those offered by other countries. This may be attractive to shipowners seeking to minimise operating costs and maximise profit. Also, registering a fleet of vessels under the Romanian flag can help increase state revenues by taxing income and profits earned by shipowners.
In addition, registering a Romanian flag of convenience can improve Romania’s reputation in the international maritime industry and increase the country’s visibility in this sector. This can bring new business opportunities and attract foreign investment in the Romanian maritime industry.
In addition to these advantages, registering a Romanian flag of convenience can also contribute to improving maritime safety and security standards. By adhering to international maritime safety and security standards, Romania can reduce the risk of maritime accidents and protect the environment. It can also have a positive impact on Romania’s reputation in the international maritime industry and increase confidence in ships sailing under the Romanian flag.
Short Brief conclusions
In conclusion, Romania’s maritime interests are manifold and concern both the development of the maritime and inland waterway sectors, shipbuilding and maritime tourism. In this context, the development of own maritime vessels can contribute to increasing competitiveness and export capacity, as well as creating new jobs and developing the national economy.
The maritime sector in Romania is an important element of the national economy, with a huge potential for development and a significant contribution to the development of the national economy. However, the maritime sector faces a number of challenges, including climate change, rising water levels, etc.
In conclusion, the development of a civilian ship fleet for Romania can bring numerous economic and national security benefits. Although Romania does not currently have a significant fleet of civilian vessels, the establishment of its own fleet could help create jobs in the shipping industry, increase the country’s economic influence in the maritime sector and enhance the country’s national security.
The registration of a Romanian flag of convenience at the IMO can bring several advantages to Romania in terms of shipping and maritime industry. These advantages can contribute to increasing the state’s revenues, enhancing Romania’s reputation in the international maritime industry and improving maritime safety and security standards.