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The Offshore Safety Directive (3) — competent authority

By Laura Mackett and Sam Boileau

The Offshore Safety Directive (OSD) provides for a single competent authority to deal with both environmental and safety issues. The OSD also requires the joint environmental and safety regulator to be independent of the body dealing with economic development of offshore resources and licensing.

The current UK regulatory structure does not comply with the OSD. Separate entities regulate environmental issues (DECC) and safety issues (HSE); and the same entity (DECC) performs the role of both environmental and economic regulator. Some non-structural changes have already been made as a result of recommendations in the Maitland review, with the HSE and DECC working together to improve effectiveness under a new memorandum of understanding. However, further changes will be needed as the OSD contains legal requirements, not just recommendations…

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