INTERTANKO Executive Committee Meeting in Rome

INTERTANKO’s Executive Committee (ExCom) recently held its third meeting for 2012 in Rome, Italy, focusing on the major issues currently facing independent tanker owners such as tanker market sustainability, piracy, ballast water management and air emissions. Participants expressed concern over the state of the tanker industry and the rising costs of shipping, which are considered the most crucial issue facing INTERTANKO’s Members. They noted that, while independent owners acknowledged to have contributed to the problems by over-ordering, current market levels could actually endanger the supply chain element of safe, sustainable transportation of oil, products and chemicals.

In an effort to address this, the participants agreed that INTERTANKO should explore mechanisms to redress the risk/reward balance for owners with a view to ensuring future sustainability of the industry as a whole, and a transparent, balanced and functioning tanker market. Focus will be on engagement with all stakeholders, including brokers, charterers and oil companies.

With regard to maritime security threats, the ExCom noted the recent decline in successful Somali pirate activity in the Indian Ocean, but continued to urge Members to maintain their vigilance and compliance with the industry-developed Best Management Practices (BMP). The Committee was extremely concerned about increasing problems in the Gulf of Guinea and instructed the Secretariat to develop specific guidance for Members to protect their ships when operating in this area.

Turning to environmental issues, participants welcomed the support received from a number of other shipping associations and importantly three IMO Member States (Liberia, the Marshall Islands and Panama) in agreeing to co-sponsor a paper to the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 64/2/18). INTERTANKO had initiated the paper in order to highlight the remaining challenges to effective implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. The ExCom agreed to recommend that Members approach their flag states and seek support for the proposals in this paper.

Following up from INTERTANKO’s Council policy decision that the Association should promote the use of clean fuels as a means of compliance with international and national air emission standards to reduce sulphur emissions, INTERTANKO will engage more actively in the development of safety, technical and operational aspects of LNG as the main fuel for ships to be built in the future.

The ExCom believes that the actions taken will demonstrate INTERTANKO’s continuing proactive leadership role in promoting sustainable, safe and environmentally sound tankers for the future.

“Proactive leadership on key issues such as tanker market sustainability, piracy, ballast water management and air emissions is exactly what the tanker industry needs to survive these difficult times” says Capt Graham Westgarth, Chairman of INTERTANKO. “This will ensure that it emerges from the downturn as a strong, confident and sustainable industry that can continue to provide the world with safe and efficient energy transportation for the years ahead.”

This meeting was hosted by a member of the Committee, Paolo d’Amico, President of the Italian Shipowners’ Association (CONFITARMA) and d’Amico Società di Navigazione S.p.A. The Committee expressed its thanks to Mr d’Amico and Confitarma for their excellent hospitality.

Source: INTERTANKO

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