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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Major tanker industry issues discussed at INTERTANKO Council meeting

Following welcoming remarks by IMO Secretary-General Thimio Mitropoulos, INTERTANKO Chairman Stephen Van Dyck welcomed over 50 shipowners and senior executives to INTERTANKO's Council meeting held last week at the IMO headquarters in London. 

At the start of the Council meeting, a two-hour session, facilitated by Joe Angelo, Director of Regulatory Affairs and the Americas, was devoted to discussing a revision, reworking and updating of INTERTANKO's strategy. The Council deliberated on the mission, vision and the goals of the Association. 

In addition to our report in Weekly NEWS No.45/2005 of 11 November 2005, where it was mentioned that the Council approved the application of 31 new members and associate members, the Council discussed the following major tanker industry issues: 

a)     Criminalisation and International Law;

b)     INTERTANKO's involvement in California District Court Ruling on Ballast Water Discharges;

c)     Pilotage;

d)     The international oil pollution liability and compensation system. 

In discussing these major tanker industry issues, the Council reaffirmed its support for the principle of international regulations being adopted and applied uniformly within the tanker shipping industry and the preparedness of INTERTANKO to pursue appropriate strategies and actions to maintain this principle. 

The issue of criminalisation was high on the agenda. The Council is concerned that firstly, international law as promulgated by the IMO should be upheld; and secondly, the rights of the maritime industry, and seafarers in particular, should be safeguarded to ensure that the industry is not discriminated against. 

The Council had a discussion on the possibility of adding a flag criterion to the list of INTERTANKO’s membership criteria. 

The Council agreed that INTERTANKO should have as a membership criterion to only employ those flags that have satisfactorily completed an IMO Member State audit, after the IMO Audit Scheme is up and running, and that their ships will not fly any of the flags listed as clearly inferior in the Round Table’s performance assessment summary. The Council accepted, however, that there could be instances where these criteria could not be strictly implemented, for instance in cases where the charterer or financier demands use of a certain flag. 

Insurance and Legal Committee Chairman Ken Marshall made a verbal report on the outcome at the recent International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund Assembly meeting, which secured the continuation of the current CLC and Fund regime and removed the issue of revision of the regime from the Assembly's agenda – in line with INTERTANKO's policy on the issue. He mentioned that one matter remains to be resolved by the IOPC Fund Assembly, namely the possible/acceptable mechanisms to achieve the equal sharing in the cost of claims between shipowners and oil receivers. 

The Council has elected two new Executive Committee members: Nick Fistes, Euronav N.V.; and Bengt Hermelin, Managing Director, Samco (Services) Ltd. 

In summing up, Van Dyck thanked the Council for its continuous support and invited the Council to the next Council meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Singapore Tanker Event, on 29-30 March 2006. Central to this Event will be the Poseidon Challenge, an invitation to all in the chain of responsibility to join INTERTANKO members in a sustained commitment to continuous improvement.  It is based on the principle that the shared goals of 'zero accidents,' cleaner seas and the elimination of the sub-standard can best be attained by voluntary, cooperative and self-motivated efforts.  Furthermore, it recognises the importance of cooperation and that every link in the chain of responsibility is vital and must perform to the same high standard in order for society's goals to be achieved. 

Contact: Minerva Alfonso