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Monday, December 11, 2017

INTERTANKO Council discusses a wide range of key industry issues as it meets in Greece during the Athens Tanker Event

INTERTANKO Chairman Stephen van Dyck welcomed over 80 shipowners and senior executives from all over the world at the INTERTANKO Council Meeting held in Athens from 11-12 April 2005. At this two-day meeting, the Council discussed major tanker industry issues, including: a) possible revision of the international oil spill liability and compensation regime, b) criminal sanctions for deliberate or accidental ship-source pollution c) European issues: maritime safety package; competition rules; d) Massachusettes Oil Spill response legislation; e) Common Structural Rules / Joint Tanker Project; f) Goal Based Standards; and g) pilotage liability. 

The Council paused for a one-minute silence to pay tribute to the memory of Mr K.H. Koo who passed away in January. Mr Koo was the founding Chairman of INTERTANKO's Asian Regional Panel, which was established in 1998 and which he chaired until 2004. He served on INTERTANKO's Executive Committee as a member from 1997 and was Vice-Chairman from 1999 to 2004. His generosity and wisdom have been much appreciated. 

The possible revision to the international regime on oil spill liability and compensation was high on the agenda, and Council members unanimously supported the work of the Insurance and Legal Committee. The Insurance Committee Chairman, Ken Marshall, made a verbal report on the outcome of the March meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund's Working Group. He mentioned that the nations in favour of revision and those against it are now fairly evenly balanced, and that the Chairman of the Working Group recommended that in view of the deep divisions between states, the matters should be remitted to the Assembly, which will meet in October 2005. The Legal and Insurance Committee in the interim will continue its lobbying efforts and the Council has renewed its mandate to ensure that the international oil spill liability and compensation regime is retained intact and that there remains an equitable sharing in the cost of claims between shipowners and oil receivers. 

On the issue of criminal sanctions for deliberate or accidental ship-source pollution, the Council discussed and endorsed the draft position paper presented by the Executive Committee. The Council supported the investigation and prosecution of illegal discharges oil from ships, but strongly objected to criminalising accidental oil pollution and to treating seafarers as criminals (Click here to download the position paper).  

There was a lengthy deliberation on the issue of Common Structural Rules/Joint Tanker Project. The Council fully supports the principle of Common Structural Rules and encouraged the timely introduction of these which is scheduled for 1 January 2006. The Council endorsed the Secretariat's 5-point view on the Common Structural Rules, namely: the rules should be 1) fit for purpose; 2) common to all societies; 3) implemented as quickly as possible; 4) easily available across IACS with no commercial impediments, and 5) open to further development and refinement. Furthermore, the Council urged tighter enforcement of Class ship construction surveys. (Click here to download the statement). 

INTERTANKO's U.S. Representative Joe Angelo updated the Council on the progress of the work on the Massachusettes Oil Spill response legislation. He reported that on 8 March 2005, INTERTANKO with the American Waterways Operators (AWO), BIMCO, and the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) jointly filed a Motion to Intervene to join the lawsuit filed by the U.S. government against the state of Massachusetts. The Council endorsed the action authorised by the Executive Committee and supported actions to assert the constitutional federal role in maritime regulation and rebut conflicting state provisions. 

On the subject of Goal Based Standards (GBS), ISTEC Committee Secretary Dragos Rauta briefed the Council on INTERTANKO's interpretation of Goal Based Standards. He recommended that the Council support the basic principle on which GBS have been accepted on the IMO agenda, namely to develop recognised international standards for design and construction, which will start with tankers and bulk carriers. He also mentioned that the Class Common Structural Rules developed by Class for some ship types can be "accorded" to GBS principles. The Council recognised the importance of the involvement of the ISTEC Committee at the IMO to ensure that the views of the Association are taken into account in the development of GBS. 

Finally, on the issue of pilotage liability, INTERTANKO's Marine and Chemical Director Capt.Howard Snaith reported on the Pilotage Working Group's progress regarding; difficulties in common language communication during pilotage and the proposed formation of a "User Group" of representatives of INTERTANKO and the pilots. Whilst the Pilotage Working Group will make some further assessments regarding professional liability and an examination of how pilots operate within the Panama Canal, the Council endorsed the Working Group's general recommendation that Pilotage Service Providers should ensure that their pilots are adequately insured against liability and that the individual pilots should not need to carry personal liability insurance. 

On administrative issues, Stephen Van Dyck was re-elected as Chairman of the Association, Patrick Decavele and Mich Tamiya were elected as Vice-Chairmen and Jens Ismar of Bergesen dy SA was elected onto the Executive Committee. 

Click here for a list of new members and associate members approved by the Council. 

The next Council meeting will take place on 10-11 November 2005 in London. 

Contact: Minerva Alfonso