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Friday, September 21, 2018

World Maritime Day in London broadens the shipping industry's outreach

Getting on for thirty shipping industry associations and organisations joined forces to participate in an event staged this week on the ship HQS Wellington, hosted by the Hon Company of Master Mariners and the International Maritime Pilots Association. The aim of the event was to broaden the outreach of the shipping industry by attracting visitors such as mainstream (non-shipping) media, schools, maritime colleges and universities, national representatives at the IMO.


The event was opened by IMO Secretary General Thimio Mitropoulos. Lunchtime speakers were Spyros Polemis, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of the easyGroup of companies including easyJet and easyCruise, and founder of Stelmar Tankers, now sold to OSG. HRH Princess Anne visited the Wellington to tour the event and make a number of presentations to cadets and students.


Sir Stelios talked of the “new way of doing things” of the new generation of shipping leaders – a new way that still, however, involves having a “true love of shipping”, as learnt in his family tanker business. As someone who at one time simultaneously headed both a major tanker company and a major airline, Sir Stelios reminded those present that “unless airlines stay safe they do not have a business”, adding that, “the maritime industry needs to learn the same thing. Your reputation is built on how you operate.


The Round Table (RT) of international shipping associations (BIMCO, INTERCARGO, ICS and INTERTANKO) used the opportunity to call on governments around the world to participate in the new IMO Voluntary Member State Audit Scheme via Polemis’ lunchtime speech, with a Press Release and with press briefings on the Wellington. The RT, whose four chief executives were all present, believes that this scheme could prove to be the most significant regulatory milestone of the decade as maritime administrations become subject to external audit of how effectively they implement and enforce IMO safety and pollution prevention regulations.


The Round Table associations have updated for World Maritime Day their well received brochure ‘International Shipping - Carrier of World Trade’, which contains some basic facts about the international shipping industry, its importance to the world economy and its impressive safety record and environmental performance, the critical need for global regulation for a global industry, and some basic information on the IMO’s Flag State Audit Scheme.


Contact: Bill Box