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Saturday, October 20, 2018

GAO again consults INTERTANKO on maritime security issues

Reference is made to previous articles published on INTERTANKO’s interaction with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the most recent published in Weekly NEWS No. 24/06 dated 16 June 2006.


The GAO advised at the meeting, which was held at INTERTANKO’s London office, that the previous project targeting tankers and energy transport had been summarised in a report to Congress. INTERTANKO will in due course receive a public version of this report, which will be made available to the membership.


The current GAO project extends to a wider focus on overall security for ships and ports. GAO representatives are currently conducting a round of meetings which includes INTERTANKO’s Round Table (RT) partners.


A central issue of this project is to determine whether the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) International Port Security Programme (IPS) functions according to its intention to enhance maritime security. INTERTANKO can expect a copy of the report in September/October 2007.


The IPS programme aims to complete a visit to all U.S. maritime trading partners within the next couple of years - said to be some 160 countries whereof about half have already been covered by an initial visit. The programme aims to achieve an exchange of security practices between the U.S. and its trading partners, in order that appropriate security practices can be implemented as early as possible for commodity exports to the U.S., with a focus on security in the supply chain (of limited relevance to tanker transport).


The meeting provided an opportunity to present INTERTANKO and its role in the maritime security environment, and to present INTERTANKO’s views on security issues of concern.


Considerable interest was shown in INTERTANKO facilities to handle security reports submitted by members, including the TVD database and its functionality. Further emphasis was placed on INTERTANKO’s ability to act on behalf of members when member reports reveal concerns which call for direct INTERTANKO action, be they security-related or on other matters related to a vessel’s port call.


INTERTANKO took the opportunity to target ongoing security problems (such as the urgent need for a general right for seafarers to shore leave, the problems related to refusal of crew change, and the admission of legitimate visits to the vessel) as necessary elements in maintaining a high quality operation. References were made to direct INTERTANKO lobbying efforts with terminal operators and to positive results that have been obtained.


The recent establishment of INTERTANKO’s Human Element in Shipping Committee was mentioned, as well as the Association’s recent commitment to enhance recruitment to seafaring careers through its cadet programme. INTERTANKO referred to the common national responsibility to help improve the living and working conditions of seafarers as a vital element in enhancing recruitment to this profession, emphasising that a substantial part of this responsibility actually rests with the U.S. where security requirements are often found to be rigid.


INTERTANKO welcomed further interaction with GAO on the current project, if and when required, and members will be kept informed of all further developments.


Contact: Gunnar A. Knudsen