The event , organized by SAFETY4SEA, was sponsored by ARGO NAVIS Marine Consulting and Engineering Ltd, Diaplous Maritime Services, ERMA FIRST, Gray Page Ltd, Green Jakobsen, Hudson Analytics, Marshall Islands Registry, NAVTOR, North P&I Club, RISK4SEA, SQE MARINE and T&T SALVAGE. Furthermore, the event was supported by Green Award Foundation, International Windship Association (IWSA), World LPG Association, Hmaburg School of Business Administration (HSBA), Sailors’ Society, International HazMat Association (IHMA) and German Shipowners’ Association (VGR).

The pro bono event brought together global experts who focused on the recent and future challenges toward safe, smart and green shipping excellence and sustainable shipping. The paths towards decarbonisation, enhancing wellness at sea, maritime security trends and cyber security risks were among the critical issues that were discussed. Presentations were given in five panels in which the experts provided feedback on MEPC 73 outcome, which took place in October while they highlighted key focus areas for upcoming MSC100.


Panel # 1 – IMO 2020 and beyond

Mr. Alvin Forster, Deputy Director (Loss Prevention) at North P&I Club, analyzed implications of 2020 sulphur cap regulation from the marine insurance perspective, sharing feedback from specific cases on the challenges being faced through certain compliance methods. North Club has identified areas where charter parties and commercial agreements could be affected by the choice of compliance method.

During his presentation, Prof. Orestis Schinas, Professor of Shipping and Ship Finance at Hamburg School of Business Administration, talked about the problem of green finance, sharing advice for newbuildings and existing ships. Prof. Schinas noted that decarbonization comes with a price and operators or owners are challenged and faced with the burden.

Mr. George Nikolaou, Technical Consultant at World LPG Association, presented the latest developments related to the use of LPG as a marine fuel, particularly in the large shipping industry, to address stringent emission restrictions. WLPGA believes that LPG is the most promising solution in line with IMO GHG strategy, embracing a low-carbon future and capturing “green-wave” business opportunities.

Mr. Gavin Allwright, Secretary at International Windship Association (IWSA), provided an overview of steps taken so far with respect to wind propulsion in shipping. Mr. Allwright noted that the toolbox of wind propulsion solutions can deliver 10-30% savings in retrofit and up to 50% for fully optimised newbuild vessels, which is expected to be a significant part of the way forward in all segments of the industry.


Panel # 2 – Safety Aspects I

During his speech, Mr. Mauricio Garrido, President at T&T Salvage LLC, discussed ‘ways to respond when safety fails’ from marine savage industry perspective, noting that the constantly emerging regulations and the influx of larger and larger ships are challenging safety in the sector.

At his presentation, Mr. Gaute Fossmark, Product Manager at NAVTOR, advised on how to be compliant using e-navigation. He namely analyzed how e-navigation technology can ease the administrational burden of tasks related to charts, publications and passage planning and make it easier for operators to have everything they need for vetting & Port State Control.

Mr. Apostolos Belokas, Managing Editor at SAFETY4SEA, emphasized on benchmarking as a tool to minimize risk, providing statistics from the RISK4SEA Project. Benchmarks may be used successfully to identify gaps between ports, ships, companies, countries, with special emphasis what to do to prepare to minimize future risks, he noted.


Panel # 3 –  Green Challenges 

Dr. Gunnar Prause, Professor of Business Development at Tallinn University of Technology-School of Business and Governance (EnviSum), shared the socio-economic impact of the SECA regulations in the Baltic Sea Region. The presentation also highlighted the most important results from the first two years of the EU EnviSuM project, concerning socio-economic impacts and emission measurements.

Mr. Marc van de Poel, Secretary General of IHMA, shared the industry’s biggest challenges with respect to ship recycling. The key challenge currently, he stressed, is sufficient recycling capacity able to handle the big demand in a responsible manner. Mr. Van de Poel concluded advising that the use of properly HKC-certified recycling facilities is key for a sustainable future.

Mr. Leif Erik Caspersen, Director International Sales, ERMA FIRST, provided recommendations on how to select a suitable BWTS retrofitting. A ballast water treatment, he said, is much complicated as it is especially designed for each vessel. Mr. Caspersen advised that operators should select the systems with the most suitable operation options for their vessels.

On his turn, Mr. Dimitrios Ioannis Kalfas, Engineering Team Leader at Argo Navis, shared his experience on effective management of Ballast Water Treatment Systems retrofit, advising operators on how to manage a retrofit project to be on time and on schedule without affecting the quality of works.


Panel # 4 – Safety Aspects II

Mr. Alex Dimitrevich, Regional Crisis Response and Wellness Programme Coordinator for Eastern Europe, Sailors’ Society, shared his insight for the association’s Wellness at Sea Programme. Traditionally, he argued, the industry thought of seafarers as only ‘occupational’ human beings, but the current definition of wellness looks at the human being’s holistic nature.

Mr. Erik Green, Managing Director, Green-Jakobsen A/S, discussed the importance of involving the entire organization when companies want to improve people’s performance. Meanwhile, he added, companies must look for creating the possibilities for new and different learning process and various departments should contribute to that process including HR, Crewing, Training, HSQE, Technical, etc.


Panel # 5 – Physical & Cyber Security

In this presentation, Mr. James Wilkes, Managing Director of Gray Page, argued that the purpose of maritime security is making the protection of seafarers a priority. Using insights from behavioural psychology, he suggested how security practice has become side-tracked from doing that. Getting security right is not easy, he noted, but some current practices seem to be missing the point.

At his speech, Mr. Dimitris Maniatis, Chief Commercial Officer at Diaplous, provided a recap of the current maritime security status, in the Indian Ocean Region, in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb, in the Gulf of Guinea and other high-risk areas. Mr. Maniatis stressed that there are always ways to successfully mitigate risk, deter threat and avoid loss.

 Mrs. Cynthia Hudson, CEO at HudsonAnalytix, shared guidance on how companies can prepare for emerging cyber risks, stressing that the maritime industry is a target to cyber risk for many reasons and as a result, action is needed from top management. Therefore, there is need for operators to be organized and re-structure their organizations to address the cyber threat landscape.


All sessions ended with a round table discussion in which the audience exchanged ideas with high level experts of international repute on technological developments. Finally, Apostolos Belokas as the Forum Chairman thanked the delegates for their participation, the sponsors and supporters for their support and the speakers for their excellent presentations and also the organizing team of the event for their contribution towards forum objectives.

This was the first SAFETY4SEA event in Hamburg; next stop is Singapore, the world’s top shipping center according to a recent report and more events are yet to come.

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