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Friday, January 19, 2018

EUROPE AND ASIA TO MEET IN SINGAPORE TO PROMOTE GLOBAL QUALITY SHIPPING

Top-ranking maritime officials from Europe and Asia-Pacific Rim have been invited to a seminar to be held in Singapore later this month which will seek to (a) establish a dialogue between the two regions on the issue of quality shipping and (b) join the regions’ flag and port state administrations in a global campaign to promote quality shipping.

The event, which is being held on 24-25 March 2000 and is entitled Quality Shipping Seminar 2000 - A Global Perspective, is being organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). William O’Neil, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Ministers of Transport from the Netherlands, Canada, and Japan will be keynote speakers. Mr. Yeo Cheow Tong, the Singapore Minister of Communications and Information Technology, will officiate at the opening ceremony and deliver the welcome address, while INTERTANKO Managing Director Dagfinn Lunde will chair the session ‘What is Quality Shipping and what can be done to promote it? Perspectives of the industry’. INTERTANKO is also supporting the event, as is IACS, OCIMF and ICS.

It is disappointing to hear that Ms Georgette Lalis, the European Commission maritime policy advisor, is unable to attend the seminar, as the European Transport Council will meet on 28 March to discuss the Commission’s current proposals to tighten Europe’s current maritime safety net in the wake of the Erika accident last December. This Brussels meeting has gained in political importance in recent weeks, and it has become imperative that Ms Lalis attends to matters nearer to home as top priority. However, the Commission will send someone else from the Maritime Division to participate in the seminar. The situation is ironic in that the meeting is using the Commission’s Campaign for Quality Shipping, which was launched in Europe in 1997 with global applicability in mind, as its basis, yet several of the measures put forward by the Commission recently, aimed at improving safety in European waters, go beyond what is laid down by IMO in the international requirements. Most notable of these is the proposal to accelerate the phase out of single hull oil tankers visiting European ports.

This will obviously be one of the most important issues to be discussed in Singapore. Amongst other topics, the seminar will emphasise the human element as an important factor of a quality ship by looking into practical issues related to seafarer competence and other factors that contribute to human error. For the complete programme please visit the following web site: http://www.mpa.gov.sg/homepage/conferences/qss-sem.html or mailto:minerva.alfonso@intertanko.com