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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Executive Committee and Council Meetings
Oslo, 27-28 September 2000
Press Briefing

The Autumn 2000 meetings of the INTERTANKO Executive Committee and Council were held in Oslo on 27-28 September 2000. The gatherings coincided with INTERTANKO’s 30th anniversary, the inaugural Council meeting of INTERTANKO having been held in Oslo on 21 October 1970 under the chairmanship of the late Jørgen Jahre.

The Council, which is INTERTANKO’s policy-making body, made a number of important decisions at its meeting and endorsed several new INTERTANKO positions and initiatives. The main results of the Council meeting can be summarised as follows:

Classification societies

A joint draft INTERTANKO/OCIMF paper outlining issues to be taken up in joint discussions with major class societies was approved by the Council. The two industry bodies will be meeting with individual class societies to discuss measures that could be adopted for further enhance the performance of class.

The sinking of Erika also prompted the European Commission to propose amendments to its Classification Societies Directive. In its own response, INTERTANKO has prepared a position paper which supports many of the draft changes, including increased transparency of class records; the establishment of a class quality assessment system; the use of exclusive surveyors; and a tightening up of the Transfer of Class Agreement conditions. INTERTANKO has also proposed that the European Union should only recognise class societies which are IACS members, pointing out that such an initiative would smooth out some of the other complexities in the proposed Directive amendments.

Phaseout of single hull tankers – see separate press release

Port state control policy statement

The third of the three immediate initiatives taken by the European Commission after the Erika sinking was to propose amendments to its Port State Control (PSC) Directive. Recognising there are weaknesses in the present system, INTERTANKO supports efforts that seek to improve the effectiveness of PSC, the quality of inspections and the training of inspectors. In its input to the rulemaking process, INTERTANKO also advocates more targeting of substandard operators, according to a common inspection matrix, and reduced inspections for quality operators. There are too many erroneous ship detentions and INTERTANKO has called for an appeals procedure direct to the Paris MOU Secretariat. 

Liability and compensation for oil pollution damage

The INTERTANKO response to current discussions about a revamp of the liability and compensation regime, also spurred by the Erika accident, has been to support the existing regime as laid down in the Civil Liability and Fund Conventions. INTERTANKO would endorse an increase in liability limits within the limits of the existing convention provisions to bring the limits up to date and to protect the current international regime from erosion by national or regional initiatives.  

Second tranche of EU post-Erika tanker safety proposals

As with the issues of port state control, classification societies and the phase-out of single-hull tankers, INTERTANKO is also providing input to the European Commission on the topics addressed in the second group of proposals for improving maritime safety arising out of the sinking of Erika. The most notable are those dealing with navigational safety, liability and the creation of a European maritime safety agency. Aspects of the proposed expansion of the existing European ship reporting network have merit, but only when used in tandem with transponders, as this new technology will enable seafarers to devote most of their attention to navigational safety matters. A European safety agency could also bring advantages, particularly if tasked with supervising the performance of class. More controversial is the Commission’s proposals for much higher limits of compensation than those laid down by IMO and a link between ‘irresponsible behaviour’ and ‘contributions to the system’.

Port of refuge

The Council underlined the importance of the European Union preparing plans for port of refuge.

INTERTANKO future strategy

INTERTANKO received initiatives in recent years to increase its effectiveness as a global voice for the tanker industry, including the establishment of regional panels and offices and the emphasis on working in partnership with governments and other industry groups, have reaped rewards. Building on this momentum, INTERTANKO has identified a series of measures aimed at promoting quality tonnage; establishing quality standards for the tanker industry; attacking low quality operations; and achieving a higher credibility for INTERTANKO membership. This quality programme brings together and formalises a series of existing initiatives, and adds several new action plans which have been drawn up as a result of recent developments. 

Washington State compliance programme

While Washington State has repealed its Best Achievable Protection standards as a result of the INTERTANKO victory in the Supreme Court earlier this year, it has now introduced a voluntary compliance regime. INTERTANKO’s US legal advisors have drawn up an advisory note in response to this latest initiative which describes efforts to continue an unlawful regulatory regime under a voluntary standard as objectionable to advances in maritime safety as well as the interests of shipowners. By voluntarily providing the state government with a company’s operating procedures and history, internal audits and reports, as the new programme calls for, shipowners and operators expose themselves to potential litigation and liability difficulties. 

Port state detentions of tankers

By compiling information provided by the three principal PSC authorities, i.e. the US Coast Guard and the Paris and Tokyo MoUs, INTERTANKO now has a complete database with valuable information regarding PSC detentions for the whole tanker fleet. The aim is to further help its members in achieving lower detention rates as well as to monitor members with a repeated pattern of detentions.  Analysing the statistics, it is important to note that during 1999 a total of 248 tankers were detained out of 7,625 ships inspected.  Only 3.4 per cent of all tankers inspected by the three regimes were detained, as opposed to 6.7 per cent for all ships.

During the first half of 2000, the rate of tanker detentions deteriorated compared with the 1999 levels.  The deterioration was mainly due to the Erika effect and the increased focus on tanker inspections during the early part of the year.  During the period January - June 2000, 41 vessels of the 1,370 ships detained, or 3.0 per cent of the total, were tankers registered with INTERTANKO. This was deterioration on the 2.0 per cent figure recorded for 1999 as a whole. However the detention rates for INTERTANKO tankers improved in the latter part of the period, i.e. May-June 2000.

EQUASIS

A number of significant errors have been found in data entered in EQUASIS, the EU-backed ship information database which was formally launched in June 2000.   Only the owner of the information is entitled to amend data, and INTERTANKO members have been invited to screen the data relevant to their ships and revert accordingly as part of the drive to assure the accuracy of information held in the system. The EQUASIS Supervisory Committee has decided to extend the databases to include manning information but shipowner groups, including INTERTANKO, has challenged the relevance of such data.  INTERTANKO continues to assist EQUASIS in the development of its database but, ultimately, the success of the initiative will depend on the accuracy of the data.

Basil Ph Papachristidis is guest speaker at Council dinner

Basil Ph Papachristidis, INTERTANKO Chairman during the 1987-89 period, saluted the accomplishments on the occasion of its 30th birthday is a speech at the Council dinner.  Despite the progress made, significant challenges still lie ahead, he said.  These include the ongoing responsibility to ensure tanker accidents are seen in their proper context; the need to ensure various links in the Chain of Responsibility are not unduly or unfairly pressurised and the need for industry and governments to concentrate future efforts on the right issues.

US Coast Guard award

Dagfinn Lunde, the former Managing Director of INTERTANKO,  who resigned last month to join Nedship Bank, received the US Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award at the Associations’s Council dinner last night.  His exceptional leadership was instrumental in gaining acceptance among INTERTANKO’s worldwide membership of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code as a membership criterion.  Mr Lunde was also a strong supporter of the INTERTANKO partnership with the US Coast Guard, an arrangement which works actively to promote vessel safety and prevent environmental damage.

Lars Carlsson elected INTERTANKO Chairman Designate

The Council elected Lars Carlsson, President of Concordia Maritime AB, as INTERTANKO Vice Chairman and Chairman Designate.  Westye Høegh, the current INTERTANKO Chairman, is due to stand down at the Annual General Meeting in Sydney in April 2001.

INTERTANKO Tanker Event 2001

The INTERTANKO Tanker Event 2001 will be held in Sydney, Australia on 22-25 April 2001, in conjunction with the Spring 2001 meetings of the Executive Committee and Council and the Annual General Meeting. 

For further information, please contact:
Svein Ringbakken, Managing Director
E-mail: LegalandDocumentary@intertanko.com
Tel: +47 22 12 26 50 
Mobile: +47 92 49 61 17