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Friday, December 15, 2017

IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event celebrated in Lisbon

On 15 November, at the invitation of the Portuguese government, the first World Maritime Day Parallel Event was held in Lisbon under the auspices of IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos. To complement the traditional celebration of the IMO's World Maritime Day held in London each September, a pioneering international seminar was organised in conjunction with Portugal's National Day of the Sea on 16 November. IMO issued a prior News Release on the event, the theme for which was "International Shipping – Carrier of World Trade".  

The Dia Mundial do Mar seminar was attended by Ministers and officials of the Portuguese government, navy and local shipping representatives, and opened by the IMO Secretary-General. Speakers included Ministers, IMO committee chairmen and permanent representatives, the Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and invited industry personnel.  

INTERTANKO MD Peter Swift spoke on behalf of the tanker industry referencing tanker shipping's role in the efficient transportation of the world's energy needs and its importance to society. He talked of industry's commitment to continuous improvement and summarised its continuously improving performance record. However, he said, there was no room for complacency and the industry was "striving for zero", having set itself goals of zero fatalities, zero pollution and zero detentions.  

He spoke of the need for international governance and regulatory structures, with consistent "effective" legislation, adopted universally and implemented uniformly, and also of the statutory and commercial 'licences to trade' provided by Flag, Class (at the newbuilding stage and in service), insurers (through compulsory certificates), charterers (through vetting) and Port State Control (on behalf of coastal states). 

Elaborating on the need for global rather than regional or unilateral regulation, he highlighted the importance of achieving a workable IMO Ballast Water Convention and maintaining an international regime for air emissions through revision of MARPOL Annex VI (Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships).  

A copy of Swift's presentation may be viewed on the INTERTANKO web site at: http://www.intertanko.com/about/presentations/. The other speeches and presentations at the seminar will be made available in the near future. 

In his summing up, Mitropoulos hailed the success of the seminar and suggested that it provided a model for future similar events in other capitals around the world. 

Contact: Peter Swift