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Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Last week some 300 people gathered in Singapore to discuss Quality Shipping at a seminar arranged by the Maritime and Port Authorities of Singapore (MPA). It was a direct follow-up, or rather a globalisation, of the European Quality Shipping Campaign. All the keynote speakers stressed the need to pursue the matter in IMO for further progress in this field.

The keynote speakers were: Mr. William O’Neil, Secretary General of IMO, Ms. T. Netelenbos, Minister for Transportation etc. in the Netherlands, Mr. K. Doi, Vice Minister for International Affairs in the Ministry of Transport in Japan, Mr. D. Collenette, Minister for Transport in Canada.

The conference was opened by Mr. Yeo Cheow Tung, Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Singapore, and chaired by Mr. Chen Tze Penn, Director-General, Maritime Port Authority of Singapore.

The seminar had three different sessions:

1.       What is Quality Shipping and what can be done to promote it? – Perspectives of flag and port States, chaired by Chris Horrocks, ICS

2.   What is Quality Shipping and what can be done to promote it? – Perspectives of industry, chaired by Dagfinn Lunde, INTERTANKO

3.   The human element and competency in Quality Shipping chaired by Capt. Malik, acting Director General, Marine Department Peninsular Malaysia.

INTERTANKO’s Managing Director, Dagfinn Lunde, was honoured to be asked to chair the second session, where the following speakers contributed with their views: Mr. E. Mitropoulos, Director IMO, Mr. Lua Chen Eng, President Singapore Shipping Association and Chairman of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd., Mr. Hans Payer, Member of the Executive Board of Germanischer Lloyd and Chairman of IACS, Mr. Tom Moore, President of Chevron Shipping Co LLC and Vice-Chairman of OCIMF, Mr. Nigel Carden, Chairman, Ships’ Standard Sub-Committee International Group of P&I Clubs.

The concluding remarks of Mr. Chen Tze Penn contained the following points:

  1. Much progress has been made in making shipping safer – all statistics point down – less oil pollution and less casualties
  2. However, public tolerance has maybe diminished even further
  3. There is a need for continued improvements
  4. More weight has to be put on Flag States/IMO and Port States
  5. Quality Shipping = at least compliance with agreed international conventions. Is there a need to further recognise the safer and even better maintained ships?
  1. There is a clear need for increased transparency in the shipping industry
  2. The human element is paramount. More needs to be done to create motivated seafarers
  3. There is a need to get away from the blame culture, but look at all times for burden sharing and how to learn from mistakes
  4. Key is the owner and the flag
  5. There is a clear need to tighten up the performance of class and port state control
  6. IMO MUST play a key role in quality shipping – and an important conclusion was the need to support IMO and provide it with  the resources necessary to perform its role
  7. Unilateral actions should NOT be taken by any country or region
  8. Concerns were expressed about the present EU proposals of the single hull phase out, and EU was urged to bring any such ideas forward to IMO for discussion and global unified implementation.

Mr. O’Neil concluded with the following remarks:

1.       Much appreciation for the Singapore effort to continue the Quality Shipping Campaign and for arranging this seminar

2.   The unanimous support of IMO was appreciated

3.   He stressed that all the work IMO does is focused on improved quality

4.   FSI and how to improve the performance of some flags were mentioned as papriority focus on the self assessment procedures

5.  New and common procedures for Port States were also mentioned

6.  He stressed, however, the limitations of IMO, which cannot issue directives - that is up to the countries - but IMO needs to do what it can. He stressed their influence in the Philippines where the number of approved schools had been reduced from 130 to some 20.

7.   He also noted that while ten years ago shipowners wished IMO to disappear, now IMO was the focal point!

Next year the Quality Shipping Campaign will continue in Australia, 5-7 March 2001, with a symposium for the Asia Pacific Region focusing on Shipping related to Environmental, Technical and Economic issues.