Conde Nast Traveler: How Cruise Ship Safety Oversight Works... and Doesn't Work
This is a report is a Conde nast piece where the author implies we need an "international body" to regulate cruise ships.
What will happen now?
In the end, the "flag states" still have the ultimate say on whether a ship and its crew are fit to sail, and their decisions are not subject to review by any international body. Marine safety advocates are hoping that the Costa Concordia accident might improve the current system. At a recent press conference in London, Christine Duffy, President and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association, urged the IMO to carefully evaluate the findings from the Costa Concordia investigation to ensure the cruise industry remains as safe as possible. Duffy said, "While there is a great deal still not known about this incident, all of our members recognize the seriousness of these events and want to ensure we apply the lessons learned from this tragic event."
The problem is that there is no international body to regulate anything. There is no international police force, for example. Interpol is only a tracking organization with no authority to regulate, arrest, fine or detain.
In the end regulation of international standards always comes down to individual nations who agree to the treaties. The U.S. Constitution has a provision that says we must abide by any treatey we sign (which is largely why we probably don't sign some treaties critics say we should sign, like the Kyoto agreement).
If there was an international police force Iran and North Korea probably wouldn't have nuclear power. But think about this - would you want an outside telling the U.S. what it has to do?