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Thursday, November 15, 2018

INTERTANKO Commits Full Support To The European Commission's Quality Shipping Campaign

The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) endorsed the European Commission's efforts to improve waterway management systems at its Brussels Tanker Event in the Belgian capital today. The need for all parties involved in the passage of ships to join shipowners and bear a fair share of the responsibility for safe, pollution-free operations is an essential element of both the European Commission's Quality Shipping Campaign and INTERTANKO's Chain of Responsibility initiative.

"Owners are responsible for safe ships and governments for safe waterways," stated Richard du Moulin, INTERTANKO Chairman. "Because we have a common goal, it is essential for both sides to work together in partnership to develop the most efficient and practicable systems for ensuring overall shipping safety. INTERTANKO already has a good working relationship with the European Commission, participating fully in all relevant rulemaking initiatives. That we think along common lines is evidenced by our Quality Shipping Campaign and the Chain of Responsibility initiatives. We look forward to strengthening our ties with the Commission in the years ahead.

"Europe is the largest economic zone, with 29 per cent of world GDP, and supports the largest tanker trade in the world. For example, tankers carried 595 million tonnes of European oil imports in 1997, generating tax revenues of $185 billion for European governments. Europe's oil import and export traffic necessitates approximately 20,000 tanker port calls each year, so efficient waterway management systems and good cooperation between ship and shore interests are essential."

Port state control
INTERTANKO welcomes the key role of port state control (PSC) inspectors in Europe and elsewhere in ridding the world of substandard ships. Analysis of ship detentions over the first six months of 1998 show that tankers account for a very low percentage of the total number. For PSC to have optimum effect, it is important that inspections are carried out to a common, high standard. In this respect INTERTANKO members file reports on inspections of their ships to highlight anomalies in inspection standards.

Reception facilities
INTERTANKO fully supports the recently published EC draft Directive on Reception Facilities for Ship-generated Wastes and Cargo Residues. The proposed Directive places an obligation on EU governments to provide adequate port reception facilities and recommends a fee system that provides an incentive for ship wastes to be discharged to such facilities. Lack of adequate reception facilities has remained a problem for tanker owners for many years, and the EC initiative provides a model for governments worldwide to plug this major gap.

INTERTANKO membership
The INTERTANKO Council approved the membership applications of six tanker companies, with a total of 61 ships of 1.48m dwt aggregate tonnage. In addition, the applications of 13 companies for associate membership were approved. The Association's full membership now stands at 273 companies with a fleet of 1,992 tankers totalling 170m dwt. This is up significantly from 255 members and a fleet of 1,750 tankers with an aggregrate tonnage of 155m dwt at the beginning of 1997. INTERTANKO members now account for 74 per cent of all independently owned tanker tonnage worldwide. Associate membership has climbed from 210 companies at the beginning of 1997 to 279 today.

ISO 9002 certification
The INTERTANKO Secretariat in Oslo has achieved certification indicating compliance with the ISO 9002 quality assurance standard. The certification, which is believed to be the first ever for a shipping trade association, was awarded by ABS following a full audit of operations in Oslo. "Compliance with ISO 9002 by the Secretariat, and the requirement to continuously improve processes that this entails, matches our owners' commitment to the ISM Code," stated Richard du Moulin. "The fact that 100 per cent of our membership had achieved Code compliance by the 1 July 1998 entry-into-force date confirms INTERTANKO's commitment to safe ship operations."

Work of INTERTANKO committees
The work programmes of the 15 INTERTANKO committees and three panels forms the backbone of the Association's activities. It is estimated that the 150 people from INTERTANKO member companies devote, on average, one week per annum to committee work. This is an invaluable asset to the work of the Association. Four new committees have been established over the past year.

New INTERTANKO regional offices
The INTERTANKO Council approved the establishment of new regional offices in Washington, DC and Singapore. The offices will enable much closer liaison between the Secretariat in Oslo and the membership in the regions and will support the work of the INTERTANKO regional panels. The three regional panels - the North American Panel, the Asian Regional Panel and the INTERTANKO Hellenic Forum - have achieved outstanding success in providing a focus for the activities of members in the regions since their launch at the beginning of 1997.

New INTERTANKO Newsletter
INTERTANKO has launched a new biannual publication, "The Tanker Newsletter", to bring useful information about the industry out beyond the ranks of the tanker community itself to all those having some contact with tanker shipping and a desire to learn more from a first-hand source. Approximately 6,000 copies of the launch issue will be circulated to contacts in the media, government, shipping and education sectors worldwide.

Houston Tanker Event, April 1999
The next INTERTANKO Tanker Event will take place in Houston on 26-30 April 1999. The Event, which will take place in conjunction with the Association's Annual General Meeting and Council and Executive Committee meetings, will have as its theme "Tanker People". Latin American tanker shipping activities will be a sub-theme, and it is intended to have a significant presence of the Latin American tanker community at the Event.