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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Report from INTERTANKO’s Council Meeting in Houston

INTERTANKO Chairman Stephen van Dyck led top-level policy discussions at the Council Meeting held in Houston on 26-27 March 2007.  Shipowners, Chairmen / CEOs and senior executives of leading shipping companies deliberated on several key issues on the Association’s agenda. 




The Council unanimously elected by acclamation Nick Fistes as the new Chairman to succeed Stephen van Dyck. 


The Executive Committee recommended to Council the election of Nicholas Fistes in succession to Stephen Van Dyck.  Council members were invited on 2 February to nominate candidates for the post of INTERTANKO Chairman. No further nominations were received by the closing deadline of 1 March.


The following is a list of some of the issues discussed:


Ship Recycling – status of IMO Convention and Industry interim strategy


Tim Wilkins gave a verbal report in which he outlined the issue at hand and presented the Interim Strategy for the Council to endorse.


The IMO continues to further develop its draft Convention on Ship Recycling which, if adopted in 2009, would come into force at the earliest in 2012. Given the potential for an increase in the tonnage to be demolished before the Convention is adopted due in part to the impending legislative phase-out of single hulls, the European Commission invited the shipping industry to consider voluntary interim measures. This resulted in the Secretariat drafting on behalf of the industry partners a five-point Interim Strategy, which is based on the latest draft of the IMO Convention.


The Council endorsed the Interim Strategy.


Revision of MARPOL Annex VI – Air Emissions from Ships


Dragos Rauta provided a comprehensive presentation for deliberation of Council members. 


Rauta updated the Council on the developments in the IMO, the follow-up actions from INTERTANKO and the plans for further activities. As expected, INTERTANKO's submission  to the IMO BLG Intersessional Working Group meeting in Oslo in November 2006,  generated a variety of reactions. Some of the questions raised were related to the availability of distillate fuels; possible environmental impacts as a result of the need to produce more Marine Diesel Oil (MDO); and the cost aspects.  The INTERTANKO Secretariat has since initiated further assessments related to such issues and the data will be circulated to the Executive Committee for review. The Secretariat's preliminary assessments of the INTERTANKO suggestion are also being compared to the impacts of the alternative proposals for the revision of MARPOL Annex VI, based on similar criteria.


Rauta reported that there have been interactions and consultations with members in the INTERTANKO regional panels on the issue.  The IMO Sub-committee on Bulk Liquids and Gases 11th session (BLG 11) (April 16 – 20, 2007) will have the following options to consider:


Outcome from the IMO WG on Air Pollution Intersessional Meeting


          A. Status Quo - No change

          B. Sulphur Emissions Control Area (SECA):

         A global sulphur cap (unchanged or lower value)

         SECA sulphur cap lowered in two tiers:

          1.0%  in [2010]

          0.5% in [2015]

          C1. Change to distillate fuels (no SECA) :

         Use of distillate fuels for all ships

         A global sulphur cap in two tiers:

          1.0% in [2012]

           0.5% in [2015]

         Include in MARPOL Annex VI the specification for the distillate fuel to be used by ships

          C2. Global cap – As C1 but allows use of residual fuel + scrubbers


In his presentation, Rauta provided a summary of the different positions of some member states, in particular U.S., Norway, Japan and Sweden, EU, as well as the submissions of NGOs:  IPIECA (International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association); ICS and BIMCO at BLG 11 which can be found in the attached presentation.


Moving on, he made a comparison of the availability of MDOs and scrubbers, as well as corresponding costs assessment.  


In addition, Mr. Rauta also examined the net CO2 emissions and summarised that  CO2 emissions from MDO production are much less than from de-sulphurisation of residuals; lower CO2 emissions with MDO due to  lower fuel consumption by ships; lower CO2 emissions with MDO since no need to heat residual fuels prior treatment & injection; and that the manufacture and operation of scrubbers would result in higher CO2 emissions.


A lengthy deliberation by Council followed Rauta’s presentation. 


The Chairman, Stephen Van Dyck, requested Council’s endorsement of the Executive Committee’s recommendation that INTERTANKO champion the distillates proposal and ensure that it gets a fair hearing at the IMO. 


The Council unanimously endorsed the Executive Committee recommendation.


IACS' Early Warning System (EWS)


John Fawcett-Ellis reported to the Council that IACS’ EWS is an exchange of data on serious hull failures so that lessons can be learned and steps taken to avoid similar incidents on sister or similar vessels. EWS is still in its infancy but IACS have asked for INTERTANKO’s support at this stage.


At the November council meeting last year the Secretariat asked for further time in which to consider the legal issues, as at that time we had little information about the EWS procedure. IACS has now provided that further information.


The agenda notes set out in some detail the essence of the EWS procedure.  EWS targets hull failures which are considered to have endangered a ship, its personnel or posed a threat to the environment and where sister or similar ships could be at risk.  The term “hull failure” is broadly defined. It does not just mean a vessel’s hull plating but also the system extends to fittings such as ventilation and sounding pipes, rudder, steering gear, anchors and cables. 


The IACS member whose vessel has suffered from such an incident initiates the procedure and reports the matter to IACS. The process then begins to identify possible preventative action and to identify sister or similar. So as to permit this exchange of information it is an essential part of EWS that owners consent to the release of this information by agreeing to the EWS waiver of confidentiality clause, which is reproduced in the agenda notes with two proposed amendments to the original draft.


Members should note that:


o        Information gathered as a result of EWS is to be kept confidential and is not to be divulged to any other parties without the explicit prior agreement of the Societies reporting the information;


o        Access to information identifying specific ships is to be restricted to the IACS Secretariat and to “involved societies”. Within these such information is restricted to those that need to know in order to undertake appropriate studies, decisions, actions etc.;


o        It is recognised that a client of an IACS society, may withdrew its consent to disclose information to facilitate the EWS if litigation is contemplated.


Council members took note of the verbal and written reports and agreed to support the confidentiality clause as amended.  The Council also formally endorsed the IACS EWS procedure.


Panama Canal Toll increases


Gunnar Knudsen reported on the significantly increased Panama Canal transit tolls over the next three years – especially given earlier indications that increases would be gradual and predictable at an annual real term rate of some 3.5%. 


INTERTANKO has provided input to the International Chamber of Shipping’s (ICS’) submission to the public hearing in Panama on 14 March 2007. INTERTANKO, together with all its other Round Table partners co-sponsor this submission which was included at Appendix 9 of the Agenda Notes.  In order to ensure that relevant tanker sector specific matters and concerns will be appropriately emphasised at the Public Hearing, INTERTANKO has presented its supplementary submission which can be viewed at Appendix 10 of the Agenda Notes.


Council members took note of the verbal and written reports.


Best Management Practices to Control and Reduce Inadvertent Cargo Vapour Emissions


Howard Snaith reminded the Council that it granted approval for the Chemical Committees to proceed with producing this Best Management Practice guide with the intention that this would be made available for review and endorsement by the Council at this meeting.


Capt. Snaith presented the document which can be viewed here.


The Council endorsed the Best Management Practice guidelines and recommended that INTERTANKO members instigate these practices.


(See separate detailed article below)


New Members - Approved


The following companies were approved as new members, having been confirmed as meeting the membership criteria:



No. of tankers

Total DWT

Akar Deniz Tasimaciligi Ve Tic.




Archipelago Ships Management S.A.




Claus-Peter Offen Tankschiffreederei (GmbH & Co.) KG





Epic Shipmanagement (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Formally known as ‘ICSM’)





Global Carriers Berhard




Harmony Navigation SA




Intrepid Shipping LLC




K Tankercilik Ve Gemi Isletmeciligi A.S,




Songa Shipping Pte. Ltd.




Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company Ltd.




TransAtlantic Lines LLC




Date of Next Meeting


The next Council Meeting will take place in London on 15 November 2007.


Contact:  Minerva R. Alfonso