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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tokyo – Council meeting

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


INTERTANKO press release from its press conference in Tokyo on Thursday covers key points on greenhouse gases, piracy, criminalisation and Hebei Spirit, safety culture.


A presentation on Emergency Preparedness was given to Council by Communications and Public Relations Manager Bill Box. Further presentations were given on LTI benchmarking and on the TMSA benchmarking calculator on the INTERTANKO website; how the calculator works and results obtained, with encouragement for Members to use it. Members have to be logged in to use it and the result for each company can only be accessed by staff from the specific company. The results can NOT be viewed by others . Those who do not have access to the INTERTANKO website can contact


Council approved and welcomed four new Members: Cooperative Success Maritime S.A., Greece, Goodwood Ship Management Pte Ltd., Singapore, India Steamship (a Division of Chambral Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd.), India, Scorship Navigation GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, and Wisby Shipmanagement, Sweden. The 20 new registered tankers have an aggregate dwt of 1.2 million.


The Council approved seventeen new associate members: Advanced Polymer Coatings LLC, Avon; Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport “The Integrated Simulators Complex (ISC)”, Alexandria; BSM Shipping and Trading, Mexico City; Bahamas Maritime Authority, London; Cargill International, Geneva; Centre of Maritime Management, Torshavn (Faroe Islands); Clean Seas S.A., Buenos Aires; Italian Maritime Academy Phils., Inc., Makati City (Philippines); Mercury Start International Shipchandlers LLC, Dubai; Oil Spill Response and East Asia Response Limited, London; Pearl Ships LLC, Abu Dhabi; Propulsion Dynamics Inc., Long Beach; QMS Maritime Training Ltd., Piraeus; Sofmar Shipping Agency, Poti; Star Sardinia Srl, Sarroch, Survival Systems International UK Ltd., Great Yarmouth, and West Gulf Maritime Association, Houston.


The Greenhouse gas emissions issue was discussed thoroughly subsequent to a presentation delivered by INTERTANKO’s Technical Director, Dragos Rauta. The matter of which market based instruments “package” will be chosen is not expected to be finalised at MEPC 59 (July 2009).


The Council concluded that if MBIs were to be applied INTERTANKO would give input on which these should be. INTERTANKO will work with stakeholders, including charterers, to optimise utilisation of existing ships. INTERTANKO encourages the use of MBIs developed through the IMO in order to develop more energy efficient ships. MBIs should be shipping industry specific. (See press release above for more information on this issue).


A report on human element/manning issues was given my Marine Director, Capt Howard Snaith.


Council recognised some similarities (and some differences) between the aviation, the nuclear and the shipping industries from a safety point of view.


However it concluded that a safety-conscious work environment (where there exists a freedom to raise concerns without fear of retribution) is just one (albeit important) element of a strong safety culture, where safety is the over-riding priority, and that the following short principles are also of utmost importance in a strong safety culture.


- Everyone is personally responsible for safety

- Leaders demonstrate commitment to safety

- Trust permeates the organisation/company

- Decision making reflects “safety first”

- A questioning attitude is cultivated

- Organisational learning is embraced

- The safety culture undergoes constant examination


A report was provided to council on vetting issues including access to SIRE reports, ongoing issues related the acceptable age of a SIRE report in the SIRE database and associated needs for inspections, issues related to gaining acceptability on newbuilding, and discrimination of ships more than 15 years old. Council was also advised of the launch of e-TOTS where, in response to many of INTERTANKO’s Members requesting an easier method of adopting INTERTANKO’s Training Officer Training Standards (TOTS) initiative, INTERTANKO has launched an electronic version of TOTS which is available in the Seagull Training Administrator.


Council received a verbal introduction on the piracy issue, by the Ports and Terminals Manager Gunnar Knudsen who focussed on recent trends in piracy activity, INTERTANKO’s interaction with international contacts protecting merchant shipping from piracy attacks, and on the recommended measures repeatedly circulated to the membership in order to deter, delay and fight piracy attacks on their ships.


The vital need to register with MSCHOA was again repeated as a key to avoid hijacking. The importance of submitting regular reports to MTO Dubai during transits of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor was again repeated. It has been found that only 52% of INTERTANKO members have registered at MSCHOA, a figure which INTERTANKO hopes to improve. It was suggested that area managers should contact members who have not yet registered and encourage such action to be taken.


This year so far, only four vessels registered at MSCHOA and part of a Group Transit have been hijacked out of a total of 27 hijackings.

The issue of arms onboard merchant ships was discussed, and interestingly there were voices in favour of the crew’s right to self defence and to the use of armed guards. It was nevertheless decided to maintain INTERTANKO’s current position, i.e. that the crew should not be armed; private armed guards are not acceptable due to lack of quality control and a minefield of liability issues. The industry can accept unarmed advisory personnel onboard and will leave the use of armed guards at each owner’s discretion and risk evaluation.


INTERTANKO’s Managing Director Dr Peter Swift informed Council that a mandatory flag requirement is expected shortly for U.S. ships to have some form of guards onboard when transiting the waters off the Horn of Africa. With regard to the payment of ransom for the release of hijacked ship/crew, the position being considered by the U.S. (of implementing bans on calling at U.S. ports for owners who have been known to pay ransom) was mentioned but the matter is still far from clear and INTERTANKO will follow developments in order to determine which type of action may be required.


With reference to the Hebei Two Appeal proceedings, the Council was invited to sign a collective letter to the Korean Supreme Court asking for the Hebei Two to temporarily leave Korea, or failing that, to at least ensure that the lower court expedites its judgement. The letter was despatched to Korea the same day.


Chemical Operations/Technical Manager Ajay Gour provided the council with an update on the Inert Gas and Bio-fuel Issues – to view a summary click here


Contact: Gunnar A. Knudsen