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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tanker Industry Acknowledges Consensus at INTERTANKO London Tanker Event

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) welcomed the high level of agreement achieved at its London Tanker Event on the need for unified, vigorous approach to tanker safety on the part of all sectors of the industry if oil spills are to be reduced still further in future. Many current INTERTANKO initiatives developed with this goal in mind received endorsement at the meeting and several additional opportunities for cooperation with other agencies were explored.

Styled the ‘Green’ Event, the London Tanker Event has been held in London on 14-16 October 1997 and follows the earlier successful Tanker Events in Houston in October 1996 and Athens in May 1997. INTERTANKO launched the series of meetings to provide an opportunity for the entire tanker industry to gather to discuss issues of common interest relating to vessel safety and the protection of the environment. The emphasis at the London Tanker Event was firmly on the environment as five business sessions, with presentations from shipowners, government, environmentalists, P&I Clubs, academia and the legal profession, were devoted to pollution prevention. In addition to the business sessions, the London Tanker Event encompassed a full range of INTERTANKO Committee meetings and the biannual Council Meeting.

US waterway management programme

Speaking at the INTERTANKO Council Meeting, Rear Admiral Robert North, Head of the Marine Safety Division of the US Coast Guard, endorsed the findings of INTERTANKO’s US Port and Terminal Safety (PTS) study, published in 1996. "We are pleased to hear that the Coast Guard will utilise the conclusions of the PTS study as a significant element in their current work to develop a coordinated waterway management programme for US ports," stated Richard du Moulin, INTERTANKO Chairman. "We will continue to take an active role in these discussions and provide the Coast Guard and other US agencies with whatever assistance we can."

One of the first manifestations of this new programme, according to Rear Admiral North, will be the trial of a transponder-based vessel traffic system (VTS) in New Orleans in 12 months time, an exercise INTERTANKO will monitor with great interest. The Association also applauded the clear, uncompromising stance the US Coast Guard will take with the implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Rear Admiral North confirmed that those ships required to be in possession of Code certification from 1 July 1998 will be required to give 24-hour notification of their Code status from that date before entry into a US port will be allowed.

Close liaison with American Pilots Association (APA)

INTERTANKO was pleased that a three-man delegation from the American Pilots Association, led by APA President Capt Jack Sparks, was able to attend the London Tanker Event. Following a very constructive meeting, INTERTANKO and APA expect to maintain this positive dialogue in the months ahead on initiatives aimed at improving the safe passage of ships in US waters, not least of which is the master/pilot interchange on passage planning.

Support for strong classification society standards

During discussions between the INTERTANKO Executive Committee and invited senior officers of classification societies which are also Associate Members of the Association, INTERTANKO strongly supported the uniform application of high standards by the classification societies to all shipping, pointing out that such measures are of the greatest importance in ensuring the safe operation of ships. INTERTANKO endorsed proposals for additional steps which could be taken to ensure that ISM Code certification is undertaken in time and that the Enhanced Survey Programme is uniformly and rigorously applied.

New Members

Applications for INTERTANKO membership from seven tanker companies - Aeromic Shipping (S) Pte Ltd, Besiktas Denizcilik Ve TAS AS, Gestioni Armatoriali Srl, Interorient Navigation Co Ltd, Pleiades Shipping Agents SA, Starlady Marine Ltd and Egon Oldendorff - were approved by the Council. These owners, between them, own 25 tankers totalling 1.33 million dwt. The Council also approved the applications of 24 companies for associated membership. Since January 1996, the number of INTERTANKO Associate Members has virtually doubled, from 144 to 270. During that same time frame the number of tankers in the INTERTANKO Member-owned fleet has increased from 1,670 to 1,800 ships.

New INTERTANKO Committees

Recognising this large increase in the number of Associate Members and the growing contribution of this membership to the activities of the Association, the INTERTANKO Council approved the establishment of a new Associate Membership Committee. This body will create an avenue for Associate Members to contribute to and benefit from the work of the Association.

A further new group, the Information Technology (IT) Committee, chaired by Philip Embiricos, was also sanctioned. This Committee will help members to optimise the use of IT to improve the safe operation of ships. "For the ISM Code to be truly effective, good ship/shore communications is imperative," commented Philip Embiricos.

Senior officers for Regional Panels

The INTERTANKO Council confirmed the senior officers for the new Asia Regional Panel, the North American Panel and the Hellenic INTERTANKO Forum. For the Asia Regional panel, K H Koo of Tai Chong Steamship Co (HK) Ltd is Chairman and Joseph Kwok of Neptune Orient Lines and S Yamaji of Taiheiyo Kaiun Co Ltd Vice Chairmen. The North American Panel is to be led by Ran Hettena of Maritime Overseas Corporation as Chairman and Jim Hood of Teekay Shipping (Canada) Ltd and Ed Roland of Bona Shipping (US) Inc as Vice Chairmen. Erric Kertsikoff of Eletson Corporation was approved as Chairman of the Hellenic INTERTANKO Forum and Philip Embiricos of Andros Maritime Agencies Ltd and Nicholas Fistes of Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd Vice Chairmen. Creation of these Panels earlier in 1997 has helped facilitate dialogue between the Association’s membership and the Secreariat and the various Committees. All the Panel Chairmen are also members of the INTERTANKO Executive Committee.

Singapore for next Tanker Event

The next INTERTANKO Tanker Event will be held in Singapore on 5-7 May 1998. Following the successes of the Tanker Events to date, another large turnout is expected in Singapore.

The INTERTANKO membership includes, as Full Members, 260 tanker companies with 1,800 tankers totalling 160 million tons deadweight. This is equivalent to 71% of all independently owned tanker tonnage worldwide. In addition, there are 270 INTERTANKO Associate Member companies.