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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tankers are performing, says Swift to ISU gathering

INTERTANKO Managing Director Dr Peter Swift took the opportunity of the International Salvage Union’s (ISU) Associate Members’ Day to examine how tanker owners and their ships are performing, to analyse the data behind some of the statistics and to demonstrate a record of continuous improvement.

In his paper entitled ‘Tankers Performing’ he went on to dispel any feeling of complacency by stressing that ‘there is more to do’ and advocating further measures to improve the performance standards of the tanker industry.

First is to improve feedback and analysis with better accident investigations, increased involvement of the shipyards through extended shipyard guarantees, the introduction of goal-based standards and the furthering of industry guidelines for best practice. Second is to have better information sharing on incident reporting, cargo information and on ship performance, as well as between inspection regimes, he said, but he questioned the existence of inducements to openness when being open can result in negative reactions. Third is to strengthen partnerships by emphasising the chain of responsibility.

He called on governments to accept their responsibilities to provide places of refuge and to ratify key Conventions on HNS, on bunkers and on air emissions. He challenged politicians to answer a citizen’s question on their failure to protect the environment and to have in place compensation schemes for bunker and chemical spills. “Why, when accelerated phase-out schemes can be agreed in months, does it take years to have key conventions ratified that have been widely adopted at the IMO?” he asked.

Finally, he spoke of the tanker industry's concerns on the criminalisation of seafarers, calling for a more humane treatment for Capt. Mangouras of the Prestige and for those associated with the Tasman Spirit that are now being detained in Pakistan. This re-emphasised the message from BIMCO’s Marine Department Manager Anders Arfelt that the entire shipping industry stands to lose from the criminalisation of seafarers, especially when it is politically motivated.

INTERTANKO congratulated the ISU on introducing associate members and on its initiative of bringing them together in London with its members to discuss some of the issues of the day.

Dr Swift’s paper can be viewed on the INTERTANKO web site

Contact: Peter Swift