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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Shipowners, Shipbuilders and Class gather in Seoul for sixth Tripartite Dialogue

International gathering of ship owners, shipbuilders and classification societies addresses key areas of cooperation to further improve shipping standards



The sixth annual Tripartite Dialogue took place 14-16 September 2006 in Seoul, South Korea, gathering together over 70 senior representatives from the shipbuilding sector, the ship owners and the classification societies.


Present were leading representatives of the shipbuilding industries in China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Europe. The ship owners were represented by the chairmen and chief executives of the members of the Round Table of international shipping associations (BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO) and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). The classification societies were represented by the Chairman and Chief Executive of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and senior representatives of several of the member societies.


Against a background of society’s ever increasing expectations, the meeting attendees reaffirmed their belief in the shipping industry’s ability to self-regulate and to strive for continuous improvements in standards and performance. The meeting further highlighted the value of the three sectors cooperating to develop common programmes and strategies in order to respond efficiently and rapidly to the expectations placed upon the industry.


It was agreed that the industries’ programmes should aim at a predictable and sustainable regulatory regime by being more proactive through the development of a greater number of practical, technically sound changes.


A number of the higher priority items on the agendas of the three parties were outlined, and many of those which are of common concern, interest and challenge are being addressed through coordinated programmes by the Tripartite members. Such items relate to the principles behind the development of the IMO Goal Based Standards; information and experience to support the industry’s work on developing performance standards for the coating of ballast tanks and void spaces for ships in general and of cargo oil tanks; practical solutions to shipboard waste management; development of practical measures to share information particularly regarding lessons learned from incidents.


At the same time the Tripartite members acknowledged that, for these information exchange schemes to work in practice, there are major hurdles to be overcome in respect of legal, confidentiality and liability issues.


The Tripartite attendees agreed that this meeting was the most effective held to date and agreed the basis of a mechanism to progress specific follow up actions. This includes the establishment of a Heads of Delegations Group which will correspond and, as and when appropriate, meet to develop and monitor the necessary action on the issues that are to be followed up.  In addition, it was agreed that a working group of Tripartite representatives will meet to discuss a possible coordinated position on Goal Based Standards prior to the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee 82nd session.


The next full Tripartite meeting is provisionally scheduled to be held in Japan in September 2007, with a Heads of Delegations meeting in Europe early in 2007.


The formal dinner, hosted by SK Shipping, was graced by the attendance of Vice Minister Lee Eun, from the Korean Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.


Additional Background and Comments


This annual dialogue is a unique forum, when the three main sectors involved in designing and building ships get together and discuss the issues and problems of the day. Such a dialogue offers the shipping industry the opportunity to improve its effectiveness (and its efficiency) through discussion of the way that these three sectors work together, thereby enabling new goals of excellence to be set – and achieved.


At the 2006 Tripartite meeting:

A session chaired by IACS Chairman Li Kejun covered a review of recent and pending regulatory developments at the IMO, in Brussels and elsewhere, standards for the hull survey of new ship construction, and a robust discussion of the different approaches to Goal-Based Standards.


A session chaired by the Round Table (Dr Peter Swift, MD of INTERTANKO) discussed performance standards for coatings for cargo and ballast tanks, ongoing work on shipboard waste management in new ships, and the establishment of industry “standards” or “norms” related to particular aspects of newbuildings together with associated “model” clauses for the industry, including newbuilding contract clauses for the Greenpassport and the Standardisation of Sea Trials.


A session chaired by CESS (Committee for Expertise of Shipbuilding Specifics) Chairman Dave Iwamoto covered air emissions, industry operational feedback to shipyards. incident information sharing, technology transfer.


(Conclusions and Quote from Dave Iwamoto)

With the variety of environmental issues being discussed, enforcement of regulations are likely to become trump cards that could be forceful enough to bring pressure on normal operations of the companies in the industry, and it is necessary for the maritime industries to get together to appeal to politicians and regulators of the need for practically workable solutions, preferably at an early stage of the process. There is no doubt that establishing database of operational information or incidents is valuable, but the question of confidentiality of information firstly needs to be carefully dealt with, and the industry should aim for an acceptable solution. Due to the situation in Japan, with a cluster of skilled engineers and workers are coming to retirement age, they have started to tackle with the technology and skill transfer as an industry solution. An introductory explanation was made in this respect.



General comments


Stephen Van Dyck, Chairman of INTERTANKO:

We have witnessed an even more cooperative spirit among the members of the Tripartite, with further recognition of the importance of the industry pursuing these opportunities to demonstrate its ability to self-regulate. There remains however the need for the prompt implementation of common and aggressive strategies to maintain our credibility with politicians and regulators.


Li Kejun, President of CCS and Chairman of IACS:

We have moved away from the historic blame culture between the industry partners and replaced it with a sharing of views to establish our common concerns, interests and challenges and the recognition of our common goals.

This open, “face to face”, dialogue and common voice will require us to build a triangular table for our future meeting!


Hiroshi “Dave” Iwamoto, Chairman of CESS:

The shipbuilders recognise that we have common problems and the industry needs to work together to develop appropriate solutions. The Tripartite provides us with the opportunity to communicate with each other on these items; while inter-sessional meetings will help us to achieve our goals. We have now established an effective forum for this dialogue.


Other comments


Spyros Polemis, Chairman of ICS:

Historically our industry has been accused of being secretive and its commitment to quality has been questioned. We need to cooperate without any misapprehension, mistrust or fear that others are seeking to take advantage of us. All parties need to be open and pro-active in a coordinated manner to overcome the mistrust of others, and we have to find a way to work around any perceived legal, confidentiality and liability constraints


Nicky Pappadakis, Chairman of INTERCARGO:

The last few days have been a very encouraging experience with open dialogue between the shipbuilders, class and shipowners. Important issues have been discussed and the scene is now set for future cooperation on issues which may have caused difficulties in the past.


Stephen Pan, Vice President of BIMCO and Chairman of BIMCO's Marine Committee:

Various standard contracts and related documents have for more than a century formed the foundation of the shipping business. Of particular pertinence to these Tripartite discussions is the Green Passport to be used in connection with the anticipated Ship Recycling Convention presently being developed in IMO. Also the development of a Standard Sea Trial procedure to be used in connection with ship commissioning along with other Model Clauses are contemplated to be of great assistance to the Shipping Industry at large.


Chris Horrocks, Secretary General, ICS:

This forum has now matured with positive contribution from all parties. The momentum is building.


Abbreviations glossary:

 CESS: Committee for Expertise of Shipbuilding Specifics

IACS: International Association of Classification Societies

ICS: International Chamber of Shipping

INTERCARGO: International association of dry cargo Owners

INTERTANKO: International Association of Independent Tanker Owners 

OCIMF: Oil Companies International Marine Forum



Bill Box, Communications Manager, INTERTANKO

+44 20 7977 7023