The annual Tripartite meeting between shipowners, shipbuilders and classification societies was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 16 and 17 October 2015. The meeting was attended by 100 high level representatives of the industry, including chairmen and executives of the Round Table Associations (BIMCO, ICS, Intercargo and INTERTANKO) and OCIMF, IACS with its Class Society Members and CESS with the Shipbuilder Associations.
The meeting was organised this year by INTERTANKO with support from Korean Register, Korea Offshore and Shipbuilders Association (KOSHIPA) and Korean Shipowners Association.
The meeting agreed that, with ongoing difficult market conditions, focus had to be on value creation (quality rather than quantity) and the continuous enhancement of shipbuilding and classification survey standards as well as ship operating procedures. Complex regulatory regimes and timelines in combination with untested and developing technologies had the potential to introduce new technical risks which needed to be addressed.
A comprehensive agenda was discussed over the two-day event. In particular, participants:
- expressed concern with the likelihood that the Ballast Water Management Convention could enter into force very shortly. Today, more than 11 years after the adoption of the treaty text, there is still little confidence in the capability of type approved equipment to perform satisfactorily under operational conditions. Concerns are significantly heightened by the lack of type approved equipment in the US to meet the national regulation already in force. This leaves owners and shipyards unable to make long-term investment and planning decisions;
- expressed strong support for cross-industry cooperation on the development of guidelines and self-regulation for cyber safety and security;
- support better and cost efficient industry use of incident data to enhance ship performance and safety;
- renewed a call for Flag Administrations to fulfil their obligations to conduct and report casualty investigations to IMO in a timely manner and for IMO to improve the GISIS (Global Integrated Shipping Information System) database functionality in this context;
- expressed concerns over environmental legislation (MARPOL) resulting in safety issues (SOLAS), for example when fuels supplied to comply with recently introduced MARPOL VI legislation causes problems with propulsion reliability and performance during ship manoeuvring.
- supported the formation of a Joint IACS/Industry WG on fuel data collection;
- expressed the desire to see the successful conclusion of the Goal Based Standards Verification Process of Common Structural Rules at MSC96 in May 2016.
The meeting also recognised the importance of continuing to facilitate the development of technological innovation that had the potential to improve safety and efficiency.