ICS Stresses Importance Of Treaty Ratification

Governments must not impede the smooth operation of a global maritime regulatory regime by failing to ratify and implement crucial maritime conventions, warns the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

It is crucial that the same regulations governing matters such as safety, environmental protection, liability and seafarers’ working conditions apply to all ships in international trade and that the same laws apply to all parts of the voyage, advises ICS – the principal international trade association for shipowners, representing 80% of the world merchant fleet.

ICS and its sister organisation, the International Shipping Federation (ISF), have produced a campaign brochure (launched this week – attached) which reiterates the importance of maritime treaty ratification and which is intended to help member national shipowner associations lobby their governments to support the global regulatory system that shipping requires.

“A global industry requires global rules.” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.
“The failure of new Conventions to enter into force or become widely ratified also gives encouragement to the promotion of unwelcome unilateral or regional regulation.”

The brochure, available from national associations or online via www.ics-shipping.org, provides updated information on the progress of a variety of instruments adopted by the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization and other United Nations bodies that impact on shipping.

The instruments which ICS believes that more governments should ratify as a matter of priority include:
• IMO Ballast Water Management Water Convention
• IMO Ship Recycling Convention
• IMO MARPOL Annex VI – Prevention of Atmospheric Pollution
• ILO Maritime Labour Convention

ICS expresses satisfaction with the recent entry into force of the IMO Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Convention and the IMO Bunker Spill Liability Convention, which
featured in the last ICS/ISF campaign update. ICS reports that the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention and the ILO Maritime Labour Convention have almost received the necessary ratifications to enter into force. Although MARPOL Annex VI (governing atmospheric pollution) has already entered force, ICS suggests that more ratifications are desirable in order to ensure worldwide implementation of the new package of CO2 emission reduction measures that were agreed at IMO in July.