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Sunday, October 21, 2018

INTERTANKO Executive Committee meets in Paris

The fourth Executive Committee meeting was held this week in Paris on 1-2 October 2007, under the chairmanship of Nicholas G. Fistes. The Chairman reminded the Committee of the Association's anti-trust policies at the beginning of the meeting.


Blue Sky Thinking


As part of the ongoing strategy discussions within the Association, the Executive Committee deliberated on plausible changes and developments within the next five to ten years which could have a significant impact on the future of the tanker industry. The areas covered included: Regulatory and governance environment; Environmental and social pressures; Economic environment; Industry developments; Human element (personnel) and operational challenges (joint session with the Human Element in Shipping Committee).


Similar sessions are planned for upcoming regional Panel and other meetings, with the intention that INTERTANKO positions will be developed and action plans incorporated into the Secretariat's and various committees' work programmes. The existing resources within the Association will be reviewed in parallel.


Other issues covered by the Committee included the following in advance of their discussion at the next INTERTANKO Council meeting:


Load Line Zones – Off South Africa


The Committee noted the anomaly that currently the load line zones within the Traffic Separation Scheme off the South African coast prohibit vessels on eastbound voyages to be loaded on their summer draught during the winter season when passing Cape Agulhas (within the Winter Load Line Zone), whereas westbound vessels can pass loaded on their summer draught as they pass closer to the shore (within the Summer Load Line Zone).

A further review is to be undertaken by the Secretariat with a view to presenting a proposal to the Council in November.


Straits of Malacca and Singapore: Aids to Navigation Fund


Since the last meeting, the Executive Committee has given positive guidance to the Secretariat on this issue and was supportive of the establishment of a user group known as the Co-operation Forum. This guidance was used by the Secretariat to formulate its statement delivered at the IMO meeting in Singapore.


The Committee noted the outcome of that meeting, the discussions that had taken place among the Chairmen of the Round Table of international shipping associations (ICS, BIMCO, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO), and the recent deliberations of the Asian Panel.


The Executive Committee reaffirmed its support for the project on the maintenance and replacement of navigational aids in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and for the participation of the industry in the Co-operation Forum. With regard to industry funding, the Committee confirmed its underlying support for industry contributions to the Aids to Navigation Fund through a credible mechanism and encouraged this approach across all sectors.


Massachusetts lawsuit


On June 21, the First Circuit Appellate Court in Boston issued its decision in United States and others v. the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the District Court, which held that the three provisions of the Massachusetts Oil Spill Act relating to manning, tug escorts and financial assurance were not valid. However, the Appeals Court did not declare the three provisions valid. Rather, the Appeals Court held that the Supreme Court precedent of INTERTANKO v. Locke mandated further analysis to be performed in the District Court before a finding as to the legality of the regulations was possible.

The industry coalition is currently conferring with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Coast Guard on the next steps to be taken in addressing the matter with the District Court.


The Executive Committee confirmed INTERTANKO support for the next phase of this litigation.


Other issues discussed were:


-         creation of a confidential platform for incident reporting

-         status report on MARPOL Annex VI revisions

-         status report on the Maritime Industry Foundation

-         Cadet Berth Survey

-         INTERTANKO / Pilots Discussion Group

-         Poseidon Challenge


The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be in London on 14 November 2007.


Contact: Minerva R. Alfonso