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ICS Comments On Consultation on State Aid Guidelines For Maritime Transport

Submission made by Simon Bennett Simon Bennett, ICS Director of External Relations, made submission to the European Commission's Consultation on State Aid Guidelines for Maritime Transport as follows:"I am pleased to respond on behalf of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to the Consultation on State Aid Guidelines for Maritime Transport, having been advised that the deadline for comments has been extended until 11 June. ICS is the principal international trade association for shipowners, representing all sectors and trades and 80% of world merchant tonnage. The membership of ICS comprises national shipowners' associations from 36 countries, including national shipowners' associations in the Americas and Asia, as well as members of the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA).The first general point is that we fully support the detailed response to the consultation submitted by ECSA in support of the maintenance of the status quo with respect to the Guidelines (subject to the minor clarifications which ECSA mention) which we strongly believe should be continued in their current form. This is primarily because the Guidelines provide the framework that permits the operation of EU Member States' tonnage tax regimes, which in turn has provided a successful model that has been emulated by many ...

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ICS Meets in Australia

Focus on piracy, shipping emissions and BWM Convection The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) held its Annual General Meeting in Port Douglas, Queensland, from 24 to 25 May, hosted by the Australian Shipowners' Association. The meeting was held back-to-back with the AGM of the Asian Shipowners' Forum (ASF) which comprises the national shipowners' associations of Asia.At the ICS AGM, national shipowners' associations from Europe, Asia and the Americas, representing all sectors and trades and 80% of the world merchant fleet, considered pressing international issues of concern to global ship operators. Matters discussed included the continuing piracy crisis in the Indian Ocean and the challenge of further reducing ships' CO2 emissions. Another pressing concern discussed by ICS members was the serious problems for shipowners created by the delayed entry into force of the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention. Ballast Water ChaosThe newly elected ICS Chairman, Mr Masamichi Morooka (Japan) commented:"ICS members identified genuine concerns about the availability of suitable ballast water treatment equipment, the robustness of the type approval process and the huge expense of retrofitting existing ships."Because of major changes proposed at IMO to important draft guidelines on ballast water sampling and analysis that will be used by port ...

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Panama Canal Toll Rises Are Unacceptable, Say Shipowners

To increase tolls by up to 15% Plans to increase toll charges for the Panama Canal are 'rushed, excessive and likely to cause further problems for shipping companies' given the fragile state of economic recovery, say shipowners.The International Chamber of Shipping has sent a strongly worded letter to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) describing plans to increase tolls by up to 15% as 'simply unacceptable'.ICS calls for the plans to be withdrawn and for future increases to be given with at least six months' notice to enable shipping companies to plan properly and fully assess the impact of the proposed changes.The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for shipowners, with member national associations from 36 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.The ACP published plans to increase its tolls last month, despite assuring industry clients in January there would only be one small adjustment to tolls before completion of the expansion project in 2014. Toll increases could come into effect as early as 1 July if agreed at a public hearing at the end of this month.ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, said there was 'no pressing need' for ...

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ICS Selects New Chairman

Mr Masamichi Morooka is the new chairman At its Annual General Meeting in Port Douglas, Queensland, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) elected a new Chairman, Mr Masamichi Morooka (Japan).ICS is the principal international trade association for shipowners, with a membership comprising national shipowners' associations from 36 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.With immediate effect, Mr Morooka has been elected to succeed Spyros M Polemis (Greece) who has decided to stand down after six years in office. Being at the helm of the industry's most influential international trade association, Mr Morooka will serve as a leading representative of the global shipping industry, overseeing its liasion with international regulators such as the International Maritime Organization and the International Labour Organization.Speaking after his unanimous election today, Mr Morooka remarked:"I am very honoured to have been elected by the ICS member national shipowners' associations. Being Chairman is a big responsibility and my primary task will be to ensure that ICS continues to represent the considered views of the entire industry. This means reflecting and reconciling the opinions of different ship types and trades, different national viewpoints, and the interests of shipping companies big and small."Mr ...

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ICS Publishes Annual Review of Maritime Policy and Regulatory Developments

Covering key issues for 2012 such as piracy and shipping emissions To coincide with its Annual General Meeting, in Queensland Australia, on 24-25 May, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its latest Annual Review of maritime policy and regulatory developments.Copies are being distributed free of charge via ICS's 36 member national shipowners' associations which, through ICS, collectively represent all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet to the international regulatory bodies that impact on shipping, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO).The comprehensive Annual Review covers key issues for 2012 including ICS's response to Somali piracy and the debate about reducing CO2 emissions, as well as current developments in maritime safety and environmental regulation. The Review also addresses developments in labour affairs and manning and training, maritime law and insurance, and with respect to the maintenance of open shipping markets.In his final introduction to the Annual Review, Spyros M Polemis, who will be standing down at the AGM after six years as ICS Chairman, remarks:"The influence that ICS brings to bear on maritime regulatory affairs is considerable; something which, despite the huge political and technical complexities involved, ICS does with considerable success, but with characteristically ...

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LLMC Increases ICS Supports IMO Agreement

IMO to increase LLMC limits by 51% The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents all sectors and trades and over 80% of the global shipping industry, and leads shipowner representation at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Legal Committee, has expressed strong support for the agreement reached by IMO this week to increase the limits of liability under the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Convention 1996 (LLMC), by 51%.In addition to general maritime claims, the new LLMC limits, which will come into effect in three years' time, will apply to claims under IMO Conventions governing liabilities for bunker spills (other than claims covered by the Civil Liability Convention) and wreck removal once the Nairobi Convention enters into force.ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe remarked: "Throughout the debate at IMO over the past two years ICS has observed that the industry was open to a discussion of increases, but that these had to be based on agreed criteria, namely claims history, inflation, and the effect on the cost of insurance. In the event, the final increases agreed by IMO seem to be a reasonable outcome."He added: "It remains to be seen what economic impact the new limits will have on the ...

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Surge in shipping students proves robustness of the sector

The shipping industry is investing in training The shipping industry is investing in training. Newly released statistics from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), which celebrated its centenary in 2011, show shipping bucking the trend in terms of cuts to training budgets. While recent figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) revealed a fall of 20% in training budgets in 2011, ICS examination registrations are up 44%.The ICS 2012 figures for the number of examinations being undertaken are in sharp contrast to the downbeat maritime industry forecasts for the medium to long term. The ICS is experiencing a record year in examination registrations with 5,838 already confirmed compared to 4,061 in 2011. Furthermore, the qualifications offered by ICS are receiving increased global recognition with 75 examination centres in 46 countries across six continents.This increase provides solid evidence that despite a global shipping recession, with the threat of darker times to come, the maritime industry and individuals recognise the value of investment in sector-specific education and training.This exceptional increase is further evidence that internationally, maritime businesses are heeding professional advice to maintain and/or increase training budgets and not cut them during recessionary times in order to emerge fitter from ...

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Shipping Needs Global Legislation, Not Unilateral Measures

ICS Chairman says in his speech at the CMA Conference Balancing environmental aspirations with economic realities, but also with political realities is not easy, ICS Chairman Spyros M Polemis is set to tell delegates at the influential CMA Conference in Connecticut this week.In a speech entitled "Balancing Environmental Aspirations With Economic Realities," Mr Polemis will:highlight the danger of aspirational legislationstress that shipping is a global industry requiring global rulesurge legislators to ensure their proposed environmental legislation is compatible with technical and economic realitiesUrging US States not to implement their own rules, Mr Polemis is set to point out: "If major trading nations such as the US adopt rules that are at variance to those agreed by governments at IMO we have chaos and if individual US States decide to implement their own rules in conflict with Federal requirements, it is even worse - we actually run the risk of double chaos."In particular, Mr Polemis will highlight the issues of ballast water management and sulphur emissions - pointing out the need to ensure enough low sulphur fuel is available to enable the international shipping community to meet low emissions requirements and the need to establish that equipment actually exists to meet ...

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EEDI Unsuitable for Existing Ships

ICS has confirmed its opposition to the application of the EEDI to existing ships ICS has reviewed its position with respect to progress being made at IMO on further measures to reduce CO2 emissions from international shipping, including refinements to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), discussed by IMO in January, having been adopted as part of the ground breaking international agreement reached at IMO in July 2011 and which will apply to new ships from 2013.ICS has also reviewed the operational and technical measures now being taken by existing ships, in support of the industry's target of improving efficiency per tonne/km by 20% by 2020.With respect to the EEDI, ICS has confirmed its opposition to the application of the EEDI to existing ships. This is not what the EEDI was developed for, and the goals set by IMO for the design of new ships, and the complex formulae developed for them, are completely inappropriate for the existing fleet.ICS will be making the industry's considered view on this clear at the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in March. The position is reinforced by a joint statement recently made by the Round Table of international shipping associations.Source: ISF/ICS

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ICS identifies three immediate objectives to combat piracy

Effective compliance with BMP and military intervention are also needed Recent press reports might give the impression that the level of piracy off Somalia is decreasing, but the capability of the pirates is actually higher than it has ever been.However, ICS believes that effective compliance with Best Management Practices by shipping, and sustained military intervention with a more aggressive stance, has reduced the pirates' rate of success. However, the current situation remains totally unacceptable, with about 200 seafarers still being held hostage in the most appalling conditions, and thousands more still having to transit the danger area in constant fear of their lives.ICS is working to ensure that the problem of piracy retains sufficient political and public attention so that the crisis might be properly and decisively addressed during the year ahead. The ICS Board has identified three immediate objectives. First is the need to persuade governments to task the military to take the attack direct to the pirates, while at the same time continuing to defend merchant ships in the best way possible.Second, every apprehended pirate should be arrested, taken to a court of law and, if found guilty, imprisoned. Third, governments must break the financial chain through legal ...

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