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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Highlights from the Council meeting in London this week

INTERTANKO’s governing Council met in London this week under the chairmanship of Nicholas G. Fistes to discuss a highly topical and comprehensive agenda.

 

The Council approved and welcomed five new members: Eitzen Chemical ASA, Diamond Tankers Pte Ltd, Dolphin Tankers Srl, Oak Maritime (Canada) Inc and, subject to completion of formalities, Sirius Rederi AB.

 

The Council approved thirteen new associate members: Docmap AS; Heidenreich Innovations LLC; International Paint, Akzonobel; Jotun A/S; Mad Rock Marine Solutions Inc.; Maersk Training Centre A/S; Marquard & Bahls AG (Mabanaft); Stord/Haugesund University College; Silver Star Agencies BV; Titi Shipping srl.; Tratamiento Ecológico de Residuos S.A. de C.V. (TRAER); University of Cádiz and Yoshida & Partners.

 

The Council heard an overview of actions taken by INTERTANKO, and in conjunction with our Round Table and other partners, on piracy in particular in the Gulf Of Aden. This overview outlined the efforts made to address and highlight the issue internationally and to call for more robust actions from governments for naval support and military intervention.

 

Captain Mukundan, Director of the International Maritime Burea’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, gave a presentation on the situation in the Gulf of Aden and in Nigeria, including how information is collected, checked and put on the web. He advised that 248 attacks have been made on ships during 2008; 41 vessels have been hijacked (18 only during 2007) and 716 crew have been taken hostage. He explained that all attacks on the Gulf of Aden or off the coast of Somalia are high-level attacks, all with the intent of hijacking the vessel to claim ransom for the release of ship, crew and cargo.

He also referred to the situation in, and offshore, Nigeria, the role of the Movement For The Emancipation Of Niger Delta (MEND) and of several criminal groups.

 

Captain Mukundan highlighted the need for navy units to be given proper and coordinated Rules of Engagement in order to enhance the effectiveness of their protection of merchant vessels and to bring pirates to justice. He also mentioned pirate operation from mother ships and the need to deal with these. He focused on the recommended preventive actions be taken by ships to avoid hijacking, including measures that can be taken onboard. Finally he reiterated the value in all attacks being reported to IMB PRC for circulation and advice to the industry, and encouraged all owners to also provide feedback from the crew debriefings after hijackings in order to assimilate the lessons to be learned. To view the presentation click here

 

With regard to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from ships the Council received an update on developments at IMO for possible regulatory measures aimed to reduce GHG emissions. The Council discussed the political differences as to whether such regulations should apply to all ships registered under all flags according to the IMO’s fundamental principles or should apply only to ships flagged by Annex 1 countries as listed in the Kyoto Protocol. The Council confirmed that any such measures must apply equally to all ships, i.e. they should be “ship neutral”. 

 

With regard to the Design Index, the Council noted the progress made by IMO and that all contributions made by INTERTANKO so far were accepted and are part of the interim formulae approved by the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee.

 

With regard to the Operational Index, the Council also noted that INTERTANKO’s contributions were also accepted by IMO. However, concerns were expressed that, although the current understanding at IMO might be to use this as a voluntary assessment tool, it could in the future become the mechanism to limit CO2 emissions from ships in service. In case regulators would agree to also impose an ETS system, there is a serious concern that the more efficient ships in operations could be penalised as the potential in reduction of their emissions would be lower than ships that are initially less efficient. It was suggested that more clarification is needed on the likely intent of regulators on usage of the operational index on a voluntary basis.

 

Following an introduction of the developments relating to the Ship Efficiency Management Plan (SEMP) at IMO, the Council discussed INTERTANKO’s future activity in drafting this Plan. Noting that INTERTANKO had been involved in developing the first draft of the SEMP and had been requested to continue working on the document by the IMO member states, the Council supported INTERTANKO’s continued work on this matter at IMO.

 

In considering the mandatory nature of the SEMP, some members commented that including reference to the SEMP in the ISM Code as a method for making the SEMP mandatory may lead to problems in auditing. It was noted that this was still open for discussion, and the Council therefore agreed that further consideration should be given before advocating this option.

 

With reference to associated Best Practices documentation, the Council considered the work of the joint ISTEC and Environmental Committee Working Group on GHGs as established following its last meeting in Istanbul. Two proposals were tabled for consideration by the Council:

  1. Best Practice

The Council considered the six point Best Practice document which had been developed by ISTEC and the Environmental Committee. With amendments relating to the use of energy saving potential figures, the Council adopted the six point Best Practice document – to view/download click here

  1. Best Practice Guidance Document (INTERTANKO’s Guide for a Tanker Efficiency and Emission Management Plan)

Noting the discussion and adoption of the INTERTANKO Best Practice, the Council also supported the continued development of a Guide as a useful supplement to assist members in implementing the Best Practice.

 

The Council took also note of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum’s (OCIMF) Energy Efficiency and Fuel Management supplement to TSMA 2 and suggested that the Secretariat initiates discussions with OCIMF and with oil companies to address the relevant elements on which charterers and tanker operators should cooperate to achieve improvements in the efficiency of transportation at sea.

 

The Documentary Committee was invited to identify elements that are currently in the c/p clauses and which could be part of a joint assessment. It was agreed that the outcome of the discussions with OCIMF will contribute to add value to the Best Practices and the SEMP guidelines developed by INTERTANKO to assist members to meet both the IMO and the TMSA energy efficiency appendix requirements.

 

A presentation was made to Council on the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) by Ms Giedre Kaminskaite-Salters of Norton Rose. 

She suggested that the industry should be pro active with regard to the EU-ETS, as this would enable industry to provide important guidance at an early stage into the EU discussions, since many in the EU consider its introduction for shipping as inevitable. In the ensuing discussion, the Council voiced a preference for the simplicity of a global bunker levy rather than shipping being subject to an Emission Trading System (ETS), with members expressing uncertainty as to where the accrued ETS funds would be applied. Council concluded that

INTERTANKO should continue to work on these issues at IMO, as well as within the EU, and it was suggested that papers submitted for MEPC (July 2009) would be likely to contain more detailed information which could guide the further work. To view the presentation click here

 

The Documentary Committee arranged for a presentation by Electronic Shipping Solutions (ESS) on electronic bills of lading. The presentation emphasised the operational benefits and enhanced functionality of switching to this electronic facility. The elimination of a Letter of Indemnity for discharge was an obvious argument; also reduced trading risks, improved transparency and faster turnaround in port. The Council endorsed further work by the Documentary Committee which will come back to the Council with advice on further progress. To view the presentation click here

 

After input from one Council member, the Council discussed and supported a proposal to invite the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to the Tokyo Tanker Event 2009 to make a presentation and lead a discussion on the problems and issues related to the rescue and treatment of refugees.

 

The Secretariat summarised the continuing work in the promotion of TOTS with ship operators, training centres, media and others. The Council noted that TOTS has aroused substantial interest in the industry; many operators are currently at different stages in the implementation of this new standard. Further publicity material is being planned. 

 

A substantive section of the Council Agenda was devoted to Human Element aspects in four main areas of work - training, crew attraction, crew retention and accommodation standards.

 

Finally the Council, recognising the need to heighten awareness of international shipping and attract young people both to the seafaring professions and to careers onshore, noted the unique web resource - The Maritime Industry Knowledge Centre - www.maritimefoundation.com  This has been developed by the Maritime Industry Foundation whose aims are part of the INTERTANKO work programme in support of maritime education, awareness initiatives and its overall aims of striving for continuous improvement.  

 

Contact: Gunnar A. Knudsen