INTERTANKO’s North American Panel held its 15th meeting on 22 March 2004, Stamford, CT

This spring meeting of INTERTANKO’s North American Panel was held in conjunction with the Connecticut Maritime Association’s conference in Stamford, CT. Unlike previous meetings, however, it began with a session at which some 12 members and staffers reviewed INTERTANKO’s activities. It was a brain-storming exercise in which members tabled a list of items linked to INTERTANKO’s governance, membership, strategy/mission/policy, as well as on the public image of the Association and the tanker industry. The list will be improved and revised at similar meetings in the near future. Such an exercise helps to bring about an efficient review of INTERTANKO’s activities and the direction to be taken.

The open session was attended by some 35 participants including INTERTANKO’s Chairman, Lars Carlsson
, and the nominated INTERTANKO Chairman, Stephen Van Dyck. The meeting was chaired by Richard du Moulin.  Guests were RAdm. Thomas Gilmour, the US Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Safety, Security and Environmental Protection; Chris Horrocks, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping; Roger Holt, Director of INTERCARGO, and several other members and guests.

Mr. Jeff Goetz, of New York ship broker Poten & Partners, gave a comprehensive update on the current tanker market and a forecast for 2004.

The Panel was also updated on the Q.88 vetting questionnaire system by Fritz Heidenreich, Heidenreich Marine Inc., and on the INTERTANKO Terminal Vetting Database by Capt. John N. Hill, Heidenreich Marine Inc.

There was an in-depth discussion on various aspects of maritime security and the process of its implementation. RAdm. Gilmour gave a brief update on the status of the US process of audits and certifications of both US ports and US flag ships. The US will indeed prepare a list of the US ports with Security Plans approved and present it to the IMO by 15 June 2004.It is anticipated that all US ports will be in compliance. According to RAdm. Gilmour, some 14% of the ships which called at US ports between December 2003 and 1 March 2004 have certificates of security. USCG has liaisons in Europe, Asia and the Americas to facilitate assessment of security aspects in the principal foreign ports from which ships load cargoes for the US.

Brad Berman, Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry, gave an update on the certification process within the Liberian register. As per 15 March 2004, LISCR has received
Security Plans from 68% of the companies and 44% of these have been approved.

A copy of all these presentations can be seen on the INTERTANKO web site at http://www.intertanko.com/about/presentations/ 

On behalf of the North American Panel and all present, Mr. Stephen Van Dyck thanked Lars Carlsson for his dedication in attending and contributing to the INTERTANKO meetings in the North American continent and invited him to continue the tradition beyond the term of his chairmanship.

Contact: Dragos Rauta