ICS Meets In Australia

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) held its Annual General Meeting in Port Douglas, Queensland, from 24 to 25 May, hosted by the Australian Shipowners’ Association. The meeting was held back-to-back with the AGM of the Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF) which comprises the national shipowners’ associations of Asia.

At the ICS AGM, national shipowners’ associations from Europe, Asia and the Americas, representing all sectors and trades and 80% of the world merchant fleet, considered pressing international issues of concern to global ship operators. Matters discussed included the continuing piracy crisis in the Indian Ocean and the challenge of further reducing ships’ CO2 emissions. Another pressing concern discussed by ICS members was the serious problems for shipowners created by the delayed entry into force of the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.

Ballast Water Chaos
The newly elected ICS Chairman, Mr Masamichi Morooka (Japan) commented:
“ICS members identified genuine concerns about the availability of suitable ballast water treatment equipment, the robustness of the type approval process and the huge expense of retrofitting existing ships.”

Because of major changes proposed at IMO to important draft guidelines on ballast water sampling and analysis that will be used by port state control inspectors, the BWM Convention has still not entered into force, although it may do so within the next 12-18 months. This further delay creates other problems for shipowners due to the fixed dates by which existing ships have to install the very expensive new treatment equipment as required by the Convention’s time line.

“A very large number of ships will need to be retrofitted, a process that cannot begin properly until the various IMO Guidelines have been finalised. ICS has concluded that the issue of fixed dates needs to be addressed urgently and that a serious discussion is needed at IMO before the Convention enters into force.” said Mr Morooka.

The ICS AGM discussed the United States Coast Guard’s Final Rulemaking on ballast water treatment (published in April) which creates serious questions as to whether the US standards for type approval of equipment and ballast water sampling, that will be used to inspect ships trading to the US, will be consistent with those expected to be adopted by IMO in 2013.

For the sake of global unformity, ICS members decided to request that IMO considers alligning its own draft guidelines with those of the US. The relevant ICS Committees have been asked to prepare a detailed submision to the next meeting of the IMO Marine Envrioment Protection Committee (MEPC) in October 2012.

“It is vital that we avoid the potential for chaos when the Ballast Water Management Convention enters into force.” said Mr Morooka.

ICS members welcomed the recent action by EUNAVFOR against a major pirate base in Somalia and expressed the hope that this would be the start of a more robust military response that will reduce decisively the ability of pirates to attack and hijack ships and their crews in the Indian Ocean.

“While we recognise that long term solutions are needed to restore law and order in Somalia itself, governments need to task their military to take further immediate action to restore security on the high seas now, and make it clear that any piracy will not be tolerated.” said Mr Morooka.

Together with the impressive inter-industry ‘Save Our Seafarers’ campaign, ICS national shipowners’ associations agreed to increase their efforts to raise the profile of the crisis with governments and the media.

“With nearly 200 seafarers currently being held hostage and ships still being attacked on an almost daily basis, the issue of piracy has entered the public consciousness. But we need to do more to stop piracy becoming institutionalised and fully succeed in persuading those governments with military assets in the region to take the fight directly to the pirates, while at the same time safeguarding those seafarers held captive.” added Mr Morooka. “The current situation is still completely unacceptable, with thousands of seafarers courageously keeping world trade moving in daily fear for their lives.”

ICS members welcomed the recent progress made by IMO to develop guidelines for flag states on the use of private armed guards on board merchant ships. However, the ICS AGM emphasised that private armed guards must only be viewed as a short term expedient and not as the solution to the eradication of piracy. ICS believes the restoration of law and order in what remains a ‘wild west’ situation requires even more direct engagement by governments, using their military forces to tackle Somali piracy head on.

CO2 Emission Reduction
ICS members reviewed the status of discussions at IMO, UNFCCC and within the European Union with respect to further reducing shipping’s CO2 emissions.

Mr Morooka remarked: “We agreed our priority is to ensure that the ground-breaking IMO agreement made last year, on technical and operational measures for both new and existing ships, is implemented successfully once the rules come into force globally in 2013. We are determined to achieve our goal of improving fuel efficiency across the industry by 20% by 2020.”

Market Based Measures remain very controversial, but ICS agreed to continue to engage in the debate at IMO and elsewhere on MBMs. The ICS AGM especially welcomed the proposal by the IMO Secretary-General that IMO should commence a full impact assessment of the various mechanisms that have been proposed by governments, at the MEPC meeting in October.
“If an MBM is adopted for shipping by governments, this must be applied internationally in order to maintain the level playing field and be developed at IMO.” said Mr Morooka.

“ICS members agreed that the political and practical complexity of agreeing an MBM should not be underestimated, as the European Union is now finding with respect to aviation.” added Mr Morooka. “Regardless of whether or not a maritime MBM is adopted, ships will still reduce their emissions as a result of the global agreement on technical and operational measures already delivered by our regulator, the IMO.”

Notes To Editors:
• A photo of the new ICS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka (who was unanimously elected by the ICS AGM to succeed Spyros M Polemis) is attached.
• To coincide with the AGM, ICS has published its Annual Review 2012, which can be downloaded from the ICS homepage at www.ics-shipping.org
• The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for shipowners, with member national associations from 36 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.

Panama Canal Toll Rises Are Unacceptable, Say Shipowners

Plans to increase toll charges for the Panama Canal are ‘rushed, excessive and likely to cause further problems for shipping companies’ given the fragile state of economic recovery, say shipowners.

The International Chamber of Shipping has sent a strongly worded letter to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) describing plans to increase tolls by up to 15% as ‘simply unacceptable’.

ICS calls for the plans to be withdrawn and for future increases to be given with at least six months’ notice to enable shipping companies to plan properly and fully assess the impact of the proposed changes.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for shipowners, with member national associations from 36 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.

The ACP published plans to increase its tolls last month, despite assuring industry clients in January there would only be one small adjustment to tolls before completion of the expansion project in 2014.

Toll increases could come into effect as early as 1 July if agreed at a public hearing at the end of this month.

ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, said there was ‘no pressing need’ for the increases given that ‘canal revenues are currently very healthy’.

Mr Hinchliffe pointed out that while the Panama Canal is an important national asset to Panama, it also remains an essential part of international public infrastructure crucial to the smooth operation of the global supply chain and should ‘take this important public role into account when setting tolls’.

“While the ACP proposal analyses the impact of the toll rises on the competitiveness of commodity trades, no account is taken of the impact on shipping companies themselves…..many of whom are still forced to run ships at a loss in order to remain in the market,” he said.

“We therefore request that the ACP rescind the current plans for increases in the next two years and concentrate on developing a toll structure that can be to the benefit of all parties to be introduced in late 2014.”

icon-pdf[download id=”334″]

ICS Elects New Chairman

At its Annual General Meeting in Port Douglas, Queensland, today (25 May), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) elected a new Chairman, Mr Masamichi Morooka (Japan).

ICS is the principal international trade association for shipowners, with a membership comprising national shipowners’ associations from 36 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.

With immediate effect, Mr Morooka has been elected to succeed Spyros M Polemis (Greece) who has decided to stand down after six years in office. Being at the helm of the industry’s most influential international trade association, Mr Morooka will serve as a leading representative of the global shipping industry, overseeing its liasion with international regulators such as the International Maritime Organization and the International Labour Organization.

Speaking after his unanimous election today, Mr Morooka remarked:

“I am very honoured to have been elected by the ICS member national shipowners’ associations. Being Chairman is a big responsibility and my primary task will be to ensure that ICS continues to represent the considered views of the entire industry. This means reflecting and reconciling the opinions of different ship types and trades, different national viewpoints, and the interests of shipping companies big and small.”

Mr Morooka continued:

“Within ICS there are perhaps three big challenges on which we will need to focus this year: the elimination of piracy; the challenge of reducing CO2 emissions, and our response to proposals that must be expected from governments following the ‘Costa Concordia’ cruise ship tragedy.”

He added:

“More generally, ICS will continue to fight for the maintenance of global rules for our global industry, and continuous improvement with respect to our safety record and environmental performance, bearing in mind always our ultimate goal of zero accidents and zero negative impact on the environment.”

At a concluding dinner at the ICS AGM, Mr Morooka highlighted the dedication and commitment of the Immediate Past Chairman, Spyros Polemis.

Mr Morooka commented:

“Spyros has steered ICS throughout his time in office with conviction and professionalism, leaving ICS in a strong and highly respected position. I will endeavour to do the same on behalf of our national shipowners’ associations and the industry which we collectively represent.”

Mr Morooka will be supported in his important new role by four ICS Vice Chairmen: Captain Dirk Fry (Cyprus), Mr Frank Leonhardt (Germany), Mr Trygve Seglem (Norway) and Mr Gerardo Borromeo (Philippines). Mr Polemis (Greece) will continue to assist in his capacity as Immediate Past Chairman.

A photograph of Mr Morooka and a short biography are attached.

To coincide with its Annual Meeting, ICS has published its latest Annual Review of maritime policy developments see www.ics-shipping.org

Notes To Editors:
A press release concerning the discussions at the ICS Annual General Meeting will follow shortly under separate cover.

Videotel Launches New Dynamic Positioning Course at 2012 DP Conference London

Dynamic positioning (DP) is essential to an ever increasing number of maritime sectors. Today there are over 1,000 DP-capable vessels, and whilst the majority of them are operationally related to the exploration or exploitation of oil and gas reserves, DP is a technique used extensively in many other fields, including diving, ROV operations, survey and marine construction all over the world.

In conjunction with C-MAR’s The Dynamic Positioning Centre, Videotel Marine International has developed a new Dynamic Positioning Basic Training Course which it is launching at this year’s European DP Conference in London, 24-25 May. Delegates are invited to visit The DP Centre’s stand to take a close up look at the course during live demonstrations, and obtain useful information on the structure and scope of its content.

Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel understands the growing interest in this once arcane discipline. “A basic knowledge of DP is becoming increasingly important to a wide range of maritime professionals,” he says. “The rise of the offshore oil and gas industry and its constantly changing demands has brought about great developments in the field of DP. Yet interestingly this growth is not now confined to those industries, and at least a basic knowledge of DP has become important to many, both based at sea and based on-shore.”

The course is aligned with the Nautical Institute DP Basic/Induction course syllabus and covers all areas of DP, including system architecture and basic principles, together with modes of operation, operational procedures and risk considerations. It contains mixed media in the form of text, images, animations, video and audio and offers a stimulating and flexible approach to training. On completion of the course, which reduces the training time required at a C-MAR DP Centre, users intending to become DP Operators will have sufficient understanding of the principles and practice of DP to confidently undertake a programme of simulator exercises as the next step towards gaining a recognised DP qualification from the Nautical Institute. Users who are shore-based will have sufficient understanding of the principles and practice of dynamic positioning to make informed judgements about DP issues and situations they encounter in their day to day work.

It is available as an online course and should take approximately six hours to complete.

ICS Publishes Annual Review

To coincide with its Annual General Meeting, in Queensland Australia, on 24-25 May, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its latest Annual Review of maritime policy and regulatory developments.

Copies are being distributed free of charge via ICS’s 36 member national shipowners’ associations which, through ICS, collectively represent all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet to the international regulatory bodies that impact on shipping, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The comprehensive Annual Review covers key issues for 2012 including ICS’s response to Somali piracy and the debate about reducing CO2 emissions, as well as current developments in maritime safety and environmental regulation. The Review also addresses developments in labour affairs and manning and training, maritime law and insurance, and with respect to the maintenance of open shipping markets.

In his final introduction to the Annual Review, Spyros M Polemis, who will be standing down at the AGM after six years as ICS Chairman, remarks:
“The influence that ICS brings to bear on maritime regulatory affairs is considerable; something which, despite the huge political and technical complexities involved, ICS does with considerable success, but with characteristically quiet efficiency.

“As soon as I came to appreciate the remarkable breadth of ICS’s activities, the depth of its expertise and the respect which it enjoys amongst governments worldwide, one of my tasks as Chairman has been to try to increase understanding and awareness of ICS’s vital role within the shipping industry at large. I hope that this expanded ICS Annual Review will contribute to that task.”

The ICS Annual Review can also be downloaded from www.ics-shipping.org

Sea Marshals Signs Up To Elaborate Services

Sea Marshals, a leading international provider of security services for the maritime industry, has appointed maritime communications specialist Elaborate Communications to manage its public relations and media handling.

Sea Marshals Ltd supplies both armed and unarmed security teams for vessels transiting in pirate infested waters. The company is run by experienced security sector professionals who are also ship owners. They work closely with various Flag States, governments, P&I clubs and ship owners to provide a comprehensive security operation.

Headquartered in Cardiff, UK, Sea Marshals Ltd is fully licensed in Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Oman and South Africa for the use of military grade weapons and embarkation and disembarkation of security teams.

Sea Marshals Chief of Operations, Thomas Jakobsson, said: “The maritime security sector is developing fast and we are keen to ensure the wider shipping industry is aware of our range of high-quality services.”

Sean Moloney, Managing Director of Elaborate Communications, said: “We are very excited to be working with such a fast-moving and specialist company as Sea Marshals.”

Hutton’s Announces New Joint Venture

Hutton’s, the UK’s primary ship supplier, has established a supply network in West Africa through a new joint venture with leading Ghanaian ships chandler Remote Site Services.

Hutton’s Remote Site Services is a direct response to customer demand and increasing business and enables Hutton’s to provide European standards of quality and services, combined with local knowledge and experience.

Hutton’s has been working in West Africa for the past year but up until now it has been sending containers from the UK and sub-contracting to local chandlers. The new joint venture establishes a proper supply network to enable the company to supply a range of high-quality solutions in West Africa including chandlery, catering and logistics.

HRSS has established a supply base in Takoradi, Ghana, to service this developing offshore oil and gas port and the neighbouring port of Tema. It is staffed by 10 experienced and well-trained members of staff who provide a high quality service and are assisted by computer processes linked to Hutton’s UK operations. A second office has been established in the Ivory Coast with eight staff. Further offices will open over the coming months in Liberia, Equatorial Guinea and Angola.

Hutton’s Ghanaian services include secure storage facilities for an extensive range of provisions and chandlery items, handling of customer spares and consignments, stocks of European-quality products and deliveries via a fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles which are Unique in this part of the world.

Hutton’s Managing Director Alex Taylor said: “West Africa is a rapidly growing maritime area and Hutton’s is very excited to be working there. Through Hutton’s Remote Site Services we are embarking on a rapid expansion plan to develop a branch network to provide chandlery, catering and logistic solutions throughout the whole region.”

Notes to Editors:
• For more information see the website: www.huttons-rss.com
• Hutton’s has developed as the UK’s one-stop shop facility providing the full range of products and services to international shipping and the offshore industry.
• Earlier this year Hutton’s took over a large, new head office premises in Witty Street, Hull, and the company recently appointed a new General Manager (David Greenwood).

Braemar (Incorporating The Salvage Association) Appoints New Regional Director to the Far East

Braemar Technical Services (Incorporating The Salvage Association) is pleased to announce the appointment of Graeme Temple to the role of Regional Director for its Far East region. Graeme will take responsibility for strengthening the company’s surveyor network in this important region and further developing relationships with the London and International Insurance markets as well as the local Singapore and other Far East Insurance markets. The focus in this region is on Braemar’s traditional hull and machinery business and also on the expert marine consultancy services that it provides to P & I clubs and marine lawyers.

“The Far East region is a key global hub for our business” says Nigel Clark, Managing Director of Braemar (Incorporating The Salvage Association). “Graeme’s practical knowledge of the region gained over a number of years, his significant experience of hull & machinery surveying and his proven reputation for providing expert marine consultancy advice make him ideally qualified to further develop our business in this region. His role will include the technical guidance and management of our personnel and operations based in our offices located in Japan, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. I’m delighted we have been able to secure the services of such an able and experienced marine professional for one of our most senior positions.”

Graeme is a Marine Engineer with a Class 1 Certificate of competency and he sailed as a chief engineer for 15 years. While serving at sea Graeme gained experience working with general cargo, container and LPG carriers as well as modern anchor handling vessels. Since moving into marine consultancy and surveying Graeme’s particular areas of expertise has included hull and machinery damage surveys, expert witness work, expert marine engineering consultancy, bunker dispute advice, towage approvals, general marine surveying and pollution advice.