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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

INTERTANKO's Executive Committee meets in London

The first meeting in 2007 of the INTERTANKO Executive Committee was held in London this week, under the chairmanship of Stephen Van Dyck.  The following ongoing key policy issues were deliberated at length: 


MARPOL Annex VI Revision


Dragos Rauta  gave an update on the developments in the IMO, the follow-up actions from INTERTANKO and the plans for further activities. As expected, INTERTANKO's submission  to the IMO BLG Intersessional Working Group meeting in Oslo  generated a variety of reactions. Some of the questions raised were related to the availability of distillate fuels, possible environmental impacts as a result of the need to produce more Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) and cost aspects.  The INTERTANKO Secretariat has since initiated further assessments related to such issues and data will be circulated to the Executive Committee for their review. The Secretariat's preliminary assessments of the INTERTANKO suggestion are also compared with impacts that other, alternative proposals for the revision of MARPOL Annex VI would have, based on similar criteria.


The Executive Committee gave the Secretariat guidance for a further plan of action, as well as requesting that the Secretariat prepare comprehensive notes for deliberation at the Council for its meeting in March 2007.


EU Ship Source Pollution Directive


Further to the Executive Committee and Council mandate, John Fawcett-Ellis reported that the industry coalition led by INTERTANKO had filed its written submissions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last November.  He gave a summary of the current status of the legal proceedings before the ECJ. The ECJ has been asked to review the legality of the EU Ship Source Pollution Directive, which seeks to criminalise accidental pollution.


So far, no date has been set for the oral hearing before the ECJ. In the meantime, the proceedings in the High Court in London are stayed until the preliminary ruling from the ECJ has been obtained. It is hoped that the hearing before the ECJ will be during 2007 but there is no guarantee of this, even though the Directive must be implemented by Member States by 1 April 2007.


The Executive Committee noted the report, and urged the Secretariat to alert the Committee as soon as there is any deviation from expectations, or if there are any unusual developments.


Insurance Issues


Ken Marshall, Chairman of the Association’s Insurance & Legal Committee, reported on current insurance issues and activities. In particular it was mentioned that there had been a recent meeting with representatives from the London hull and war markets, which had been extremely positive, with many common issues being identified.


The revisions to P&I club cover and re-insurance costs with regard to the 2003 Protocol to the Athens Convention were discussed.


The on-going discussions at the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds concerning promoting quality shipping were noted.


U.S. Issues


In line with previous Executive Committee and Council mandates, Joe Angelo updated the Committee on the action and progress on the following issues:

1.  California Air Resources Board Air Emission Standards


The California Air Resources Board finalised its air emission regulations for auxiliary diesel engines and main propulsion diesel-electric engines on 6 December  2006.  This regulation came into effect on 1 January 2007 and applies to vessels, regardless of flag, trading in California waters (defined as those waters out to 24 nautical miles).  The regulation permits payment of a non-compliance fee in certain limited situations.  The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), a California-based maritime trade association, has applied to the U.S. federal court for both declaratory and injunctive relief.  Although initially the PMSA was asking other associations to consider joining it in this court action, in the end it specifically chose to proceed on its own.  To date the court has not rendered any decision on this matter.

2.  Massachusetts Lawsuit

Just before Christmas, the state of Massachusetts officially filed its appeal of the District Court decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals.  The Federal government and the industry coalition have until 20 February 2007 to submit their responses to the state's appeal.  The industry coalition is currently working with the Federal government to develop a coordinated response to the state's appeal. 

3.  Lawsuit on ballast water discharges

On 20 November 2006 both the Federal government and the industry coalition consisting of INTERTANKO, American Waterways Operators (AWO), Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), World Shipping Council (WSC), International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) and Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA), submitted separate Notices of intent to appeal the District Court decision requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop regulations governing all discharges from ships, including ballast water discharges, under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) authorised by the Clean Water Act (CWA).


The Executive Committee noted these developments.


IACS Early Warning System


At the last Council meeting there was initial support for the International Association of Classification Societies’ (IACS) Early Warning System (EWS) initiative, which seeks to ensure the adequate exchange of critical information relating to major casualties. John Fawcett-Ellis reported that before seeking the Council’s formal endorsement of the EWS, the Secretariat is seeking clarification from IACS as to how EWS will be implemented and what procedures will be followed. Having received this, INTERTANKO can then ascertain whether there will be any increased liability on vessel operators. 


The Executive Committee advised that it supported EWS in principle and requested the Secretariat to follow up with IACS with a view to putting a proposal to the Council at its March meeting.


Equasis Statistics and PSC Targeting Matrix


Minerva Alfonso reported that Equasis has recently released its first publication providing an analysis of data as contained in the Equasis database, including key figures of the world merchant fleet in 2005 and its safety performance.


The Equasis analysis shows that the INTERTANKO fleet had an impressive safety performance record in 2005 as measured by its detention rate. Despite being subjected to three times as many inspections, the detention rate of the INTERTANKO fleet is much lower (1.7%) than non-INTERTANKO members (3.1%).  These results will be forwarded to the Vetting Committee meeting, to assist them with their Port State Control work programme in urging PSC to develop better targeting of ships for inspection by Port State Control, and subsequently decrease the number of inspections on INTERTANKO members’ vessels.


The Executive Committee noted this report.


Panama Canal Toll Increases


Gunnar Knudsen gave a brief presentation on what can be expected from,  and some of the possible concerns with, the recent Panamanian referendum of 22 October 2006. This approved the  construction of a third set of locks, which is anticipated to take 7-8 years to complete.  INTERTANKO and the Round Table of international shipping associations (RT) have already expressed concerns as to the likely commercial impacts of the proposed financing structure.


The Executive Committee requested the Secretariat to continue to monitor the developments, and would revisit the issue in 6 months. The Executive Committee did not wish to use further resources on this issue at present or to formulate a position for further consideration by Council.


Human Element in Shipping Committee


The Chairman of the Human Element in Shipping Committee and member of the Executive Committee, Amir Azizan, President & CEO of American Eagle Tankers (AET), reported that the inaugural meeting of the Committee was held in London on the 10 January 2007.


The first task of the Committee was to review its Terms of Reference (although endorsed by Council) and ensure that the initial work of the Committee was focused on some short-term goals and objectives.  It was also agreed that the Committee should ensure that its work was concentrated on quality rather than quantity at this early stage, and that sufficient resources are allocated to its work, carried out by both the Secretariat and committee members.


The Executive Committee noted this report.


Dates of next Executive Committee meetings: 


26 March 2007 - in conjunction with the INTERTANKO  Houston Tanker Event. 

11-12 June 2007 - to coincide with Nor-Shipping in Oslo

1 October 2007, Paris

14 November 2007, London


Contact:  Minerva R. Alfonso