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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tripartite forum meets in Seoul

The tripartite forum of shipowners, shipbuilders and classification societies met again this week in Seoul, South Korea. On the agenda were newbuilding standards (designing and building fit-for-purpose ships), roles and relationships (stricter class oversight and extended guarantees) and information sharing on shipbuilding capacity and demand.

The meeting, coordinated by the Round Table of International Maritime Associations (RT), was chaired by Intercargo Chairman Frederick Chavalit Tsao. Detailed discussions on key issues will be extended by correspondence groups or task forces.

Discussions on newbuilding standards focused particularly on designing and building ships which are fit for purpose, and capable of transporting their cargo safely for the ship, the crew and the environment over the life of the vessel. ‘Fit for purpose’ includes ensuring operational flexibility, being maintenance friendly and environmentally conscious from construction through operation to demolition.

The meeting also discussed the protection of bunker tanks from contact damage and bunker tank arrangements for multiple fuel segregation to suit new emission control rules, as well as shipyards providing a standard inventory of hazardous materials to facilitate the eventual recycling of the vessel. The shipbuilders confirmed their support for the adoption of the so-called “Green Passport”, a document listing hazardous materials present on board a ship throughout its life.

The dialogue on roles and relationships included the RT restating its belief that the guarantee period on new ships should be extended from the current 12 months to the first special survey (5 years) for all newbuildings, since this would encourage the highest building standards and provide a valuable feedback loop for the shipyards. For their part, the shipbuilders, while accepting that anything was possible at a price, voiced concerns about the implications for ship maintenance if owners were to fall back on lengthy guarantees. However, it was accepted that further discussion was warranted, and a task force was established.

The session on shipyard capacity and information flow concluded that, given that the global shipbuilding capacity is significantly greater than the average forecast newbuilding requirement, there is aneed for more accurate and internally consistent information on shipyard capacity, as well as on future shipbuilding demand. A trial think-tank has been established to report back on options for the structuring and coordination of this work, and to consider means of assessing the influence of external factors (such as changes in exchange and interest rates, and oil price variations) on the supply–demand balance of shipbuilding.

Click here for a presentation given at the meeting by Technical Director Dragos Rauta on INTERTANKO’s ‘Tanker Specification Awareness Guide’ and click here for the Power Point presentation.

Contact: Peter Swift