Not Logged In, Login,

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


The sinking of the Erika in December 1999 has brought forward many issues and proposed changes to international rules and regulations governing the transport of liquid cargoes at sea. It has influenced chartering practices of major oil companies and contributed to improved freight rates for quality tonnage. At the same time it has provided an opportunity for the industry to review quality standards and enhance its credibility.

At the Sydney Tanker Event 2001, delegates will be able to take part in an open and frank discussion of necessary steps to improve even further quality and safety standards within the tanker industry. Discussions will be based on the work that INTERTANKO has undertaken during the past year together with other industry organisations, and in particular on the OCIMF/INTERTANKO joint paper aimed at improving the performance of classification societies and ultimately raising the quality of tanker tonnage.

Class societies are without doubt the technical authority in establishing standards for the building of ships and for assessing the quality of the commercial fleet. They represent a source of technical professionalism and competence and great confidence is placed on their shoulders. In addition, class societies have become more and more involved in surveys and inspections traditionally carried out by flag administrations or port state controls, and the introduction of the ISM Code has brought class into the auditing role of crew and shore-based personnel.

Classification societies therefore play multiple roles and their performance is vital in setting adequate safety and quality standards.

INTERTANKO is conscious that initiatives in this area would also influence further developments for the whole shipping industry, but we take this initiative because tanker activities are much more exposed and because rare accidents often cause severe reactions.

We have invited leading experts and executives from class societies, oil companies, shipyards and our own membership to share their views and participate in an open dialogue leading up to important decisions to be made at the INTERTANKO Council meeting on Wednesday 25 April. The Council meeting will be preceded by a two-day conference programme where we encourage the entire INTERTANKO membership to participate in the discussions and express their views. Although much progress has been made, there will always be a need to sustain and improve credibility and quality operations throughout the entire shipping industry.

Some of the issues that will be discussed include:

  • Do we still have ships of shame?
  • What do owners expect from class?
  • Is there a need for monitoring class performance?
  • Is commercial vetting a substitute, an additional safety precaution or a competitor for  class inspections?
  • Quality and safety standards – a search for new criteria and realistic measures of implementation
  • Port state control and class – cooperation or competition?

Is competition between classification societies detrimental to the quality of rules and services provided?

Please click here for a continuously updated programme for the Sydney Tanker Event 2001

Or contact Anders Baardvik for further details,