In its 32nd Annual General Meeting, on 16 May 2023, in Shanghai, Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) focused on many aspects of the challenges and constraints including safety at sea, manpower and decarbonisation.
In particular, unfair treatment of seafarers, which can take many forms and be for many reasons, has a severe impact on seafarers’ physical and mental well-being and a damaging effect on the image of the shipping industry and its ability to attract and retain qualified seafarers. Unfair treatment of seafarers often takes place when seafarers are detained on suspicion of committing maritime crimes. An on-going example is Captain Yu Yihai’s prolonged imprisonment without trial in Honduras, which is contrary to the principles of conducting trials as expeditiously as possible or releasing the detained person on bail as laid down in relevant international treaties.
According to ASA, on March 3rd, 2023, the 5th United Nations Intergovernmental Conference finally reached an agreement on the text for a major new maritime biodiversity treaty. The shipping industry has taken an active part in the discussions since 2016 to ensure that the nation-states understand the role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as the global regulator for shipping.
As explained, during the recent 40th Interim Meeting of the ASA Safe Navigation & Environmen Committee (SNEC) held in Singapore on 2 May 2023, the urgency and significance of ensuring safe navigation and addressing the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were strongly emphasized. ASA expressed its concerns regarding the escalating number of reported incidents of piracy and armed robberies in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore during the first quarter of 2023.
ASA expressed its concern over adverse impacts on the stability of the global supply chain due to drastic increases in the tolls of the Panama and Suez Canals, effective in January 2023, without ensuring enough transparency.
ASA reaffirmed the need for the early entry into force of the HKC as well as for the urgent expansion of Green Yards in multiple countries to respond to an expected surge of ship recycling demand in the coming years. For these sakes, the recognition that the year 2023 should especially be crucial was shared by ASA, in accordance with the treaty requirements. In order to achieve the goal, ASA confirmed that Bangladesh and China have been holding the key and that ASA should concentrate our primary effort on securing the earliest ratification by Bangladesh. It was then affirmed that every ASA member association would
encourage concerned governments to support Bangladesh in every aspect wherever possible.
Furthemore, in an exclusive interview to SAFETY4SEA, Mr. Yuichi Sonoda, ASA Secretary General, reffered to key challenges and urges industry to look for innovators, creative thinkers, and a diverse set of skills to move forward.
Leave a Reply