Condemning seafarers' abandonment cases, the ASA called for further ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and acceptance of the 2014 Amendments, which will ensure the protection of seafarers.

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The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 requires that an effective financial security system to ensure that shipowners provide compensation to seafarers in the event of abandonment. In addition, the 2014 amendments make mandatory for ships to carry certificates and other evidence to demonstrate that the financial security system is in place.

In order to comply with 2020 sulphur cap, ASA urged its members to ensure that the views of the shipping industry are considered at the IMO, including the upcoming intersessional meeting of the IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention & Response (PPR) this July.

ASA said that the IMO’s decision for a 0.50% sulphur cap on marine fuel is one of the most defining moments. Refiners and bunker suppliers must ensure that compliant fuels are available, so that ships can bunker the new low sulphur fuel. Enough fuel standards will be crucial to this.

Furthermore, the ASA noted that the International Conventions are essential for global shipping’s survival and sustainability. However, it is concerned by recent decisions by Spain and France to pass judgements or laws which are opposed to the CLC and Fund Conventions.

As far as free trade is concerned, ASA warned about the protectionism in the world and the US Bill to restrict the transportation of certain energy exports.

Mr Yuji Isoda, Chairman of the SPC, agreed that these developments are concerning and mentioned that, the shipping industry needs to keep its maritime free trade principles.