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Saturday, October 20, 2018

INTERTANKO at Annual General Meeting of Asian Shipowners Forum

The Asian Shipowners Forum (ASF) met on 25 and 26 May in Tainan City for their 18th Annual General Meeting. Hosted by the National Association of Chinese Shipowners (NACS) the ASF members considered a wide range of subjects including piracy, ship recycling, the fair treatment of seafarers and greenhouse gas emissions.


Membership of the ASF expanded with the joining of the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA) at the meeting. Forum members also endorsed the change in the Forum chairmanship from NACS to the Hong Kong Shipowners' Association (HKSOA).


Speed reductions and technological solutions were considered the way forward on greenhouse gas emissions, with the Forum members concluding that an emissions trading system based on cap and trade may be complicated to apply and could suppress shipping activities due to the possible imposition of an unreasonable financial burden.


Continuing the environmental discussion, the ASF also considered the possible difficulties in finding sufficient capacity for environmentally sound ship recycling in the event of a likely surge in recycling requirements. The Forum urged consideration of utilising the excess building capacity for environmentally sound recycling.


On the subject of piracy in the Gulf of Aden the ASF supported the IMO's activity as well as the international industry associations' work on the Best Management Practices. However, while thanking those governments that had sent naval support, the ASF urged governments and littoral states to strengthen their naval and air surveillance to deter piracy attacks.


The ASF's Seafarer's Committee also addressed the problem of criminality and the fair treatment of seafarers. While not referencing any particular incident, the ASF urged governments to ensure seafarers are given a fair trial with full rights of defence, in accordance with the relevant international instruments.


On a more regional note, the ASF commented on the safety of navigation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. In reconfirming its support for the littoral states' Cooperative Mechanism, it expressed its desire and willingness to actively participate in the Cooperative Forum.


During the two-day meeting, the ASF also held a joint seminar with the Round Table (RT) members, BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO. Each of the associations provided the ASF with an overview of subjects relevant to the ASF's agenda. The session, chaired by Kenneth Koo, also allowed for discussion on the issues as well as views on the activity of Asian-based owners within the international associations. Commenting on the discussion and the involvement of the Round Table associations, Koo encouraged a greater dialogue between ASF and the RT, particularly outside the more formal meetings.


The Round Table presentation can be downloaded by clicking here. The ASF official statement from the meeting is available here


Contact: Tim Wilkins and Peter Swift