In INTERCARGO’s Annual General Meeting on 1-2 October, the Association’s Chairman, John Platsidakis, underlined the challenge with respect to international regulators’ lack of understanding of how dry bulk ships operate worldwide on tramp trades.
It is regrettable that the regulators do not engage in discussions with our sector, prior to their decisions, on the practical issues related to the implementation of the regulations. We will continue to raise the views of our members at IMO and other fora while we welcome any regulation which sets practical achievable targets. We will be the first ones to applaud them,
During the meeting, the Association discussed main topics currently facing the shipping industry, including the Safe Carriage of Cargoes, investigation of casualties, air emissions, BWM, the nonavailability and adequacy of Port Reception Facilities for cargo residues, PSC transparency and anti-corruption practices, as well as design Standards for Bulk carriers and related equipment, among others.
Focusing on the issue of Safe Carriage of Cargoes, INTERCARGO noted that the previous year was marked by the tragic losses of M/V Stellar Daisy, carrying iron ore, and M/V Emerald Star, with nickel ore cargo, causing the loss of 32 seafarers, the highest annual loss of lives since 2011.
INTERCARGO believes that the submission of quality casualty investigation reports without undue delays would greatly benefit the industry…The importance of investigating an incident and the subsequent publication of a casualty investigation report cannot be over stated; the dry bulk industry expects strict compliance with IMO’s Casualty Investigation Code, which might even necessitate a “naming and shaming” enforcement process. We invite the IMO to regularly publish casualty analyses.
Regarding the hot debate of 2020 sulphur cap, INTERCARGO expressed its concern, on behalf of the maritime industry, about a reasonable level of safety of MARPOL and SOLAS compliant fuels from 1st January 2020.
This crucial message has unfortunately been distorted even at IMO level. The successful and orderly implementation of the regulation rests with the IMO Member States and with suppliers (involving oil refineries, bunker suppliers and charterers) who need to secure the worldwide availability of safe compliant fuels – a particular problem for ships in the tramp trades. Policing the quality of the new compliant fuels seems to be a great challenge already, as it has proved extremely difficult to address the very serious recent problems with existing fuels.
Meanwhile, INTERCARGO welcomed the initial strategy for the GHG from ships adopted by IMO and said it will continue its participation in the global regulator’s deliberations, adding however that:
It is crucial that charterers and operators, who very often have the responsibility about how ships are utilised, shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, and fuel suppliers get involved in IMO’s deliberations.
On the area of BWM, INTERCARGO expressed aspiration to the effective implementation of the BWM Convention and noted that “achieving the effective implementation of the BWM Convention will require working closely with the manufacturers“.
For the Port reception Facilities, the Association stressed that compliance with the discharge requirements of MARPOL for cargo residues and cargo hold washing waters depends largely on the availability of adequate (e.g. per cargo type) Port Reception Facilities (PRFs).
The non-availability and adequacy problems of PRFs unfortunately continue. We would urge a more effective system by IMO for information collection and sharing to ensure compliance,
In addition, in relation to Port State Control transparency, INTERCARGO said it continues its efforts to persuade regional MoUs to establish auditing schemes and transparency mechanisms.
The objective is to target unethical behaviour within their areas and it is regrettable that so far MoUs seem uninterested to follow. Crew are distracted from their primary task of safe ship operations by the unethical behaviour of Port Authorities in some coastal states and we request IMO intervention at government levels to curb this practice.
The meetings were chaired by Chairman John Platsidakis, Vice Chairman Jay K Pillai and Technical Committee Chairman Dimitris Fafalios.