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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

US transportation secretary Rodney Slater applauds tanker owners' contribution to maritime safety at INTERTANKO Houston tanker event

Speaking in Houston, Texas on 27 April, the US Secretary of Transportation, The Honorable Rodney Slater, thanked the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) for its valuable contributions to current initiatives aimed at improving safety in US waterways. In comments to the Association's Annual General Meeting, Secretary Slater stated that the US marine transportation system (MTS), including its infrastructure, must be improved and expanded if the nation is to remain competitive globally and its ports are to cope with the expected threefold increase in international trade by the year 2020. INTERTANKO is part of a core group invited by Rodney Slater to participate in task forces responsible for projects to improve the US marine transportation infrastructure.

"The INTERTANKO Port and Terminal Safety (PTS) Study, which highlights tanker operators' concerns in relation to US waterway and traffic management systems, has been extremely valuable to us in identifying our priorities,'' said Secretary Slater. ''The US Coast Guard and INTERTANKO have established three working groups, as part of their Partnership Agreement, charged with identifying and removing conditions hazardous to navigation in US waters. Specifically, the three projects are addressing (a) hazardous condition reporting during vessel transits of ports and waterways; (b) harmonisation of harbour safety committees; and (c) providing vessel operators ready access to timely, relevant and accurate meteorological and hydrographic information."

The INTERTANKO Annual General Meeting was taking place as part of the Association's Houston Tanker Event, held at the Omni Hotel in Houston on 25-29 April 1999. The Houston Tanker Event is the sixth in the new series of international meetings for the tanker industry organised by INTERTANKO. The gathering marks a return to Houston, the first Tanker Event having been held in the US energy capital in October 1996. The Houston Event had two central themes - 'Tanker People' and 'Tanker Shipping in the Americas' - and provided an ideal opportunity for all parties charged with a responsibility for the safe passage of ships to get together and discuss progress to date.

The Tanker Event's session on ship vetting brought together a wide range of participants with an interest in tanker inspections, including shipowners, charterers, brokers, classification societies and traders. The extended session enabled speakers and delegates to discuss the commonality of the problems they encounter in the ship inspection process and to identify ways in which they can make better and more efficient use of the SIRE ship inspection system.

US Coast Guard award to Richard du Moulin
US Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral James Loy, presented the agency's Distinguished Service Award to INTERTANKO Chairman Richard du Moulin at the Tanker Event. The Award was made in recognition of Mr du Moulin's notable contributions to maritime safety during his three-year term as the Association's Chairman. "Richard du Moulin has made a great contribution to maritime safety by helping both the Coast Guard and INTERTANKO derive full benefit from close cooperation," said Admiral Loy. ''Richard played a key role in developing the Partnership Agreement between INTERTANKO and the Coast Guard. He was also instrumental in initiating the INTERTANKO Port and Terminal Safety Study, a document which has been of great assistance to the Coast Guard in setting out our priorities for the US waterway management issues we will be addressing in the years ahead.''

Westye Høegh - new INTERTANKO Chairman
The INTERTANKO Council has appointed Westye Hoegh as the new INTERTANKO Chairman to succeed Richard du Moulin whose three-year term of office has come to an end. Westye Høegh is Chairman of Leif Høegh & Co and was President of the Norwegian Shipowners Association in 1994-95. The INTERTANKO Chairman is elected to serve a period of one-year, renewable up to a maximum of three-year term of office.

Ran Hettena, Overseas Shipholding Group, and K H Koo, Tai Chong Cheang Steamship Co HK Ltd, were elected as Vice Chairman and will join Erric Kertsikoff who already holds that position. In addition, Paul Slater, First International Group of Companies, and Lars Mossberg, Marinvest AB, and Hirohiko Tanaka, Mitsui OSK Lines, were elected to the INTERTANKO Executive Committee.

Washington State litigation
On Friday, 23 April, INTERTANKO and the United States each filed separate petitions urging the Supreme Court of the United States to review a mixed result decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The lower court had agreed with INTERTANKO that the State of Washington had acted unlawfully when it required particular equipment and technology aboard tank vessels calling in Washington State waters. At the same time, the Court of Appeals upheld the State's efforts to impose its own operational requirements governing such matters as crew training and qualifications, operating and watch practices and manning levels. It was this latter element of the lower court's decision for which both INTERTANKO and the United States seek Supreme Court review.

INTERTANKO has opposed efforts by individual localities, particularly in the United States, to attempt to replace strong, uniform federal and international safety and environmental protection measures with local regimes that may vary substantially from port to port. INTERTANKO welcomes the strong support of the United States in this matter. The petition of the United States was signed by the top legal officials of the US Departments of State, Defence, Justice, Transportation and the United States Coast Guard. The petition reflects strong support by that Government for effective international safety standards developed through the IMO. It also reaffirms the important role played by the United States as a promoter of effective international safety standards in the councils of international organisations.

New Asian and US Representative Offices
In March 1999, as part of the Association¹s ongoing initiative to build up regional ties, INTERTANKO formally opened two Representative Offices - in Singapore and Washington, DC. The new offices represent a natural progression of the work of carried out by the Association's Regional Panels and provide the membership with direct access to an INTERTANKO office 24 hours a day. The Asian Representative Office is under the direction of Minerva Alfonso, INTERTANKO's Section Manager for Asia and Secretary of the Asian Regional Panel, which was established in 1997. The US Representative Office is managed by Svein Ringbakken, Secretary of the North American Panel, also formed in 1997, and the INTERTANKO Section Manager for North, South and Central America.

INTERTANKO 1998 Annual Report
The Association's 1998 Annual Report and Review has been released at the Houston Tanker Event. The Association achieved a considerable improvement in financial performance in 1998, due to a growth in the membership fleet of over 100 tankers. Total revenues arising from membership fees increased by 13 per cent last year compared to 1997 levels. The Report also features a series of articles which describe a typical 'Day in the Life' for many of the key people responsible for the safety and efficiency of tanker shipping operations. Each person, in effect, represents a link in the Chain of Responsibility, which was the theme of the 1997 INTERTANKO Annual Report. The Association has adopted the Responsibility Chain as a means of illustrating the tanker industry's good practices and of encouraging other sectors to review their own working procedures.

New INTERTANKO members
At the Houston Tanker Event the INTERTANKO Council approved the applications of nine tanker owning companies as Full Members and 27 companies active in the tanker industry as Associate Members. The new Full Members have registered an overall fleet of 54 tankers aggregating 2.8 million deadweight with INTERTANKO. The total membership fleet now stands at 2,065 tankers with a total tonnage of 172 million dwt, equivalent to 75 per cent of independently owned tanker tonnage worldwide. Ownership of this diverse fleet of tankers is spread amongst 272 owners in 43 countries worldwide. INTERTANKO also has 288 Associate Members.

INTERTANKO future strategy and work programme
INTERTANKO continues to make progress with its busy work programme of 60 agenda items, thanks to the direct input and support from its member companies in the activities of the Association's 10 Committees and three Regional Panels. Success in promoting these issues has been enhanced through the proactive stance adopted by INTERTANKO in developing partnerships with regulatory bodies and other trade associations that are targeting the same goals safe ships, clean seas and free competition. Looking ahead, the share of the world tanker fleet controlled by independent owners continues to grow as state-owned fleets are privatised and oil companies shed their in-house fleets to concentrate on core activities. By working hard in recent years to improve its regional infrastructure and streamline management systems, INTERTANKO now has the machinery in place to work effectively on a worldwide basis for a membership that is expected to continue growing.

For further information, please contact:

Dagfinn Lunde, Managing Director, +47 22 12 26 50
Mobile: +47 92 49 61 17
Sybil E. Gosselin, Press Officer, +44 385 95 75 89

For further information on Admiral Loy's speech at the Houston Tanker Event dinner, please contact:

Lieutenant Commander Pat Philbin
US Coast Guard
Press Assistant to the Commandant
Tel: 1 202 267-1748
Fax: 1 202 267-4158