Sulphur and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Priority for ICS

“The 2020 global sulphur cap will be the regulatory game changer of the decade with profound implications for the economics of shipping” believes Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson. “But there are even more profound changes to come.  We are rapidly moving into a multi-fuel future to be followed we hope, in the 2030s, by the arrival of commercially viable zero CO2 fuels suitable for global application.”

Mr Poulsson was speaking following the ICS Board meeting in London last week, attended by senior representatives of the world’s national shipowners’ associations.

As the 1 January 2020 deadline for the sulphur cap approaches, ICS members reviewed progress in persuading the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) to take measures to address expected implementation problems.  This includes outstanding safety and fuel compatibility issues associated with the use of new 0.5% sulphur blends and continuing uncertainty over the availability of compliant fuels in every port worldwide, a particular challenge for tramp trades.  The ICS Board concluded that it will be vital for the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee to complete this work at its meeting in May 2019, as shipowners begin ordering compliant fuels.

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S&P Upgrades The Swedish Club to ‘A-‘ Rating

The Swedish Club is pleased to report that on January 23, 2019, S&P Global Ratings raised its insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings on The Swedish Club to A- with stable outlook.

S&P reported that through disciplined underwriting and strong risk controls The Swedish Club has continued to record combined ratios close to 100% despite testing conditions in its main markets.  It believes that these improvements, combined with a sturdy operating performance, should enable the Club’s capital position to remain resilient to market challenges over the next 24 months.

Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club is delighted with the news: “This is an important step for The Swedish Club and will enable us to further develop our growth and diversification strategies around the world.  As a mutual society this news is a testimony to the quality and support of our members and to the commitment and expertise of our team. Read more

New Initiatives Announced to Strengthen Singapore as a Global Maritime Hub

Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, announced two initiatives for the maritime industry at the Singapore Shipping Association’s (SSA) Annual Lunar New Year Cocktail Reception yesterday evening. The two initiatives, the Singapore War Risks Insurance Conditions (SWRIC) and the development of an inter-operability framework for electronic trade documents for the maritime and trade industries, will strengthen Singapore’s standing as a leading global maritime hub.

Enhancing Singapore’s maritime insurance offerings

The SWRIC is an enhancement to the Singapore War Risks Mutual (SWRM), Singapore’s first national war risks insurance facility which was launched in 2015 as part of efforts to develop Singapore as a comprehensive marine insurance hub. Available to members of SSA irrespective of the flag of the ship, and non-members whose ships are registered in Singapore, the cover under SWRM rules includes Protection and Indemnity (P&I) war risks, hull war risks, detention and diversion expenses, sue and labour and discretionary insurance. In a short span of four years since its launch, the SWRM cover has exceeded expectations with close to 800 ships insured. Read more

The Swedish Club: New Lessons from Past Experiences

The Swedish Club has launched its new edition of Claims at a Glance, a whistle-stop tour of cases and statistics taken from its experiences in Loss Prevention over the last three years. Claims at a Glance offers the Club’s own perspective on some of the real-life cases it has recently dealt with and provides updates on some of the Club’s key Loss Prevention publications from the last three years.

It makes interesting reading: in the time period studied the report finds that a pilot is on board ship during 30% of all collisions; 66% of all contacts and 58% of all groundings. It reports that 55% of all auxiliary engine claims occur within the first 1,000 hours of overhaul; and since the last report, you are now more likely to suffer a slip or fall on a bulk carrier than a container vessel or a tanker.

Claims at a Glance reviews both P&I and H&M issues ranging from cargo damage, navigational error and machinery through to piracy and injuries and illness. Read more

The Swedish Club Maintains Zero Per Cent General Increase

For the fourth year in succession The Swedish Club has announced a zero per cent general increase for the forthcoming P&I year.

The decision was made by the Club’s board in consideration of the general market view that premiums are not in proportion with expected claims outcome.

Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club says: “In a number of shipping sectors the market remains weak and we have a commitment to support members at this crucial point. Read more

ICS Chairman Calls for Comprehensive Revision of STCW Seafarer Training Regime

Speaking in Manila, the Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson, has called for a comprehensive revision of the IMO STCW Convention which governs global standards for the training and certification of around two million merchant seafarers.

STCW was reviewed in 2010 with the adoption of the ‘Manila amendments’ but the previous major overhaul of the STCW regime was last undertaken by IMO Member States over 25 years ago.

Mr Poulsson said “It’s now commonplace for employers to routinely provide additional training and assessments prior to the deployment of many officers holding STCW certification which raises questions as to whether the Convention as currently drafted is still fit for purpose in the 21st Century.” Read more

ICS Publishes New Edition of Industry Guidance on Garbage Management Plans

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has recently published a new edition of its ‘Guidance for the Preparation and Implementation of Garbage Management Plans as Required by MARPOL Annex V’. This second edition is intended to help shipping companies comply with the latest requirements of the IMO regulation regarding treatment and disposal of garbage from ships.

ICS Deputy Secretary General, Simon Bennett said:

“Following the entry into force of some important amendments to MARPOL Annex V in 2017 and 2018 respectively, it is essential to provide updated advice to shipping companies on the latest requirements for ships to prepare and implement Garbage Management Plans.”

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ICS Announces New Edition of Best Practice Safety Guide for Gas Carrier Operators

The global trade association for ship operators, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has announced that it will soon be publishing a new edition of the ICS Tanker Safety Guide (Liquefied Gas).

The ‘ICS Gas Guide’ is the definitive industry best practice guidance for gas carrier operators, and is a carriage requirement under the national regulations of many flag states.

“It is strongly recommended that a copy of the completely revised third edition is carried on board every ship engaged in the transportation of liquefied gas by sea” said ICS Deputy Secretary General, Simon Bennett. Read more

ICS Launches Free Guidance on Preparing for 2020 Sulphur Cap

To assist shipping companies prepare for implementation of the UN IMO global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has produced – free of charge – some comprehensive guidance on implementation planning, to help ensure compliance across the shipping industry with this regulatory game changer.

The free ICS guidance has been prepared for the vast majority of ships that will comply after 1 January 2020 using fuel oils with a sulphur content of 0.50% m/m or less.

ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten, explained:
“Shipping companies may need to start ordering compliant fuels from as early as the middle of 2019, and they are strongly recommended to commence developing implementation plans as soon as possible.”

Apart from the significant additional cost of compliant fuel, ICS says that implementation of the global cap will be far more complex than for the previous introduction of Emission Control Areas. This is because of the sheer magnitude of the switchover and the much larger quantities and different types of fuel involved, as well as continuing uncertainties about the availability, safety and compatibility of compliant fuels in every port worldwide. Read more

Industry Launches LISW19 with ‘International Trade in a Changing World’ as the Central Theme

LONDON: SEPT 12TH, 2018:  The 12-month countdown to what promises to be the largest and most successful London International Shipping Week so far, has started with the changing face of global trade and the opportunities posed, chosen as the key theme for the week.

LISW19’s overarching theme International Trade in a Changing World will be supported by a series of sub themes: Growing; Innovating; and Partnering. These will provide the backdrop to the flagship LISW19 conference to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane on Thursday September 12th, 2019. The themes may also be referred to by LISW19 Supporting Organisations and Sponsors wishing to hold their own events during the week.

Over 20,000 international shipping and maritime decision makers are expected to descend on London between September 9th and 13th, 2019 to attend the fourth London International Shipping Week (LISW). Read more

“Ships are not Operating in a Regulatory Vacuum” says ICS Chairman, at start of Major UN Negotiation on Future Ocean Governance

At the United Nations in New York, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing shipowners at the start of a major negotiation to agree a new legal instrument for the protection of the ocean under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – which will apply to ‘high seas’ areas ‘beyond national jurisdiction’.

Addressing government negotiators in New York today (5 September), ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson, highlighted the need to ensure that this UN initiative will not “unwittingly” impact on the effective future governance of global shipping, potentially interfering with principles such as freedom of navigation, or otherwise cutting across the work of shipping’s global regulator, the London-based UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“As a result of the global rules already provided by IMO, ships are not operating in a regulatory vacuum” stressed Esben Poulsson. “A shipowner’s activities are never beyond national jurisdiction, even on the high seas.”

ICS fully supports the objectives of the UN negotiations and the critical need to provide environmental protection for the ocean from activities such as fishing and seabed mining.  However, ICS says these are activities which, unlike commercial shipping, do not enjoy a comprehensive framework of global regulation such as that which has been developed, over a period of 50 years, by the UN IMO and its 174 Member States. Read more

Viking Acquires Leading Lifeboat Manufacturer

The acquisition of lifeboat solution provider Norsafe is another boost for VIKING’s worldwide capabilities, ensuring a unique an unmatched product and service offering in the maritime safety industry.

Maritime safety equipment manufacturer and global service provider VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S has announced it has acquired Norsafe, the Norwegian boatbuilder whose lifeboats are used throughout the world. The acquisition is in line with VIKING’s long-running strategy of putting the customer’s needs and priorities first.

Established in 1903, Norsafe produces a full range of free-fall lifeboats and fast rescue boats with davits and have supplied over 28,000 lifeboats to the global ship market over the years. Its advanced lifeboat products are manufactured in accordance with the latest SOLAS requirements and approved by national and certifying authorities for both ships and offshore use. Read more

Half Year Results: Consistent Performance from The Swedish Club

The Swedish Club has reported a combined ratio of 96 % for the first six months of 2018, in line with a policy of balanced growth and consistent performance. The Club is pleased to have now delivered an average combined ratio of below 100 % for ten years, despite a continued soft market for marine pricing and the third consecutive year of a zero general P&I price increase.

This solid underwriting performance balanced out prevailing weak investment conditions: an underwriting result of USD 4.7 million bringing the result to a surplus of USD 0.2 million before the agreed P&I discount of 5 %, effective 20 August 2018.

Free reserves are still on a high level of USD 210 million (after P&I discount effective 20 August 2018), enabling the Club to continue to grow according to plan. The Swedish Club currently insures some 2,700 ships on H&M and has doubled its volume in P&I over the last decade to in excess of 50 million gross tonnes – the inclusion of charterers’ liability bringing this total to over 80 million gross tonnes. Read more

ICS Encouraged by IMO Progress on 2020 Global Sulphur Cap Implementation Issues

In a statement today, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) says it is encouraged by efforts made by IMO Member States to resolve some pressing practical challenges ahead of the global implementation of the 0.5% sulphur in fuel cap on 1 January 2020.

Speaking after an important IMO working group meeting last week, to which the industry submitted a number of constructive proposals to help ensure smooth and consistent implementation, ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe remarked:

“Although there is still much work to be done, last week’s IMO discussions were positive.  Most important is that governments have acknowledged the safety concerns raised by industry about the use of compliant fuels including possible incompatibility. We are pleased that Member States have accepted their obligations under MARPOL to ensure that fuel is suitable for use and will not pose a safety risk to the ship or the crew, and that IMO has now agreed that these critical issues should be urgently addressed by the next IMO Maritime Safety Committee in December 2017.” Read more

Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero – ICS Publishes New Insight into the ‘Paris Agreement for Shipping’

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a new publication to endorse the recent adoption by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) of its ambitious strategy for phasing-out CO2 emissions from the international shipping sector – a historic agreement which the global industry, as represented by ICS, fully supports.

Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero explains what the high levels of ambition agreed by IMO Member States could mean for international shipping. These targets include an efficiency improvement of least 40% – as an average across – the fleet compared to 2008, and a 50% cut of the sector’s total greenhouse emissions by 2050, regardless of future trade growth.

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Shipping Industry Launches New Security Resources for World Fleet

International shipping industry organisations, with military support, have launched a new website dedicated to providing comprehensive maritime security guidance to companies and mariners. Launched today, the new website www.maritimeglobalsecurity.org provides security-related guidance produced by the industry as well as links to other useful maritime and military security resources.

“In a world of increasingly complex security risks, it is essential that mariners and ships are protected. The new website will be a freely available facility where companies and mariners can access essential guidance and information to help them comprehensively prepare for voyages through areas of security risk,” the authors said.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race to Lower Operating Costs, says The Swedish Club  

The Swedish Club warns that vessel operators should always look to the long term, when specifying the type of engines to be installed across the fleet. Latest statistics from the Club show that vessels propelled by medium/high speed engines have a claims frequency 2.5 times higher than slow speed engines, with an average claims cost of close to USD 650,000.

Main Engine Damage, the latest loss prevention report from The Swedish Club, sheds light on an expensive category of damage that is all too frequent. Statistically a vessel will suffer between one and two incidences of main engine damage during its life time. Considering the costly consequences for ship owners and their hull insurers, it is important to identify the main causes of this damage and examine how these can be prevented.

The publication also includes loss prevention advice from the major engine manufacturers, MAN Engines and Wärtsilä.

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The Day of the Seafarer – 365 Days a Year

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), the centre spearheading international research on the seafarer and maritime law, joined the shipping community today in offering a message of support for IMO’s Day of the Seafarer.

“We are extremely pleased that the theme of the 2018 Day of the Seafarer is the important issue of seafarers’ wellbeing,” said Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI. “SRI was set up to advance the rights of seafarers through engagement with the international maritime industry, and advocacy within the international legal framework. Through this work, we are continually reminded of the importance of the seafarer at the heart of our industry, and that efforts to represent the needs of the seafarer have to continue.

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IMO Member States Must Progress on Key Sulphur Cap Issues at Critical Meeting in July

The shipping industry – as represented by its international trade associations (BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and WSC) – calls on the Member States of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to make progress on key challenges around the global sulphur cap to avoid compromising safety or unfairly penalising individual ships.

The trade associations have co-sponsored a number of submissions to IMO to help smooth the implementation of the global 0.5 percent sulphur in fuel cap, in advance of the critical meeting that will be held in London during the second week of July.

These submissions include papers on:

  • a standard format for a ship specific implementation plan with many actions ships may need to consider for achieving compliance but also a call for a practical and pragmatic approach from IMO Member States when verifying compliance with the 0.50% global sulphur cap;
  • safety implications associated with 2020 fuels and their respective challenges;
  • a draft standard for reporting on fuel oil non-availability;
  • proposals for amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to require sampling points for fuel oil; and
  • verification issues and control mechanism and actions.

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Shipping Industry Very Concerned About Italian Policy on Migrants Rescued at Sea

ICS is deeply concerned about the apparent new policy of the Italian Government to close its ports to migrants rescued by vessels operated by humanitarian NGOs.  The refusal by Italy to allow rescued persons to be disembarked could have serious implications for the safety and welfare of these distressed people, including children and pregnant women.   

To its great credit, the government of Italy has consistently permitted prompt and predictable disembarkation of people rescued by merchant ships as well as by vessels operated by humanitarian NGOs.  But following the election of the new Italian Government, the crisis now seems to be taking an ever more political direction.

If NGO vessels are prevented from disembarking rescued persons in Italy, this would also have significant implications for merchant ships and the movement of trade throughout the Mediterranean, as merchant ships would again have to become involved in a greater number of rescues.

The global shipping industry, as represented by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), is committed to meeting its obligations under the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to come to the rescue of any person in distress at sea.   Since the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean escalated three years ago, over 50,000 people have already been rescued by merchant ships, with many more rescued by military vessels and boats operated by humanitarian NGOs.

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