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ICS admits regional partners, discusses key concerns

ICS admits regional partners, discusses key concerns
The Asian Shipowners' Forum (ASF) and European Community Shipowers' Associations (ECSA) were officially recognised as regional partners of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) at its agm in Oslo last week.

"Relations with ASF and ECSA have always been highly productive and cordial given our common membership of national shipowners' associations. However, by referring to ASF and ECSA as our Regional Partners, the nature of our very close relationship will hopefully be better understood by governments and by the industry at large," said ICS chairman, Masamichi Morooka.

Discussing key environmental issues facing shipowners, the ICS renewed its call for the economic sustainability of shipping to be taken into account when considering new regulations, with particular concerns over the 2015 Emission Control Area (ECA) 0.1% sulphur limit and its potential for modal shift away from shipping.

It welcomed recent changes at the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting, particularly the proposed amendments to the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) that will ease the introduction of requirements over a long period as well as introduce a two year grace period from Port State Control for ships operating type approved ballast water treatment systems.

"If this commitment to amend the BWM Convention as soon as it enters into force is confirmed as we hope by the IMO Assembly in November, this will remove a great deal of the uncertainty that has been hanging over the industry for many years," said Morooka. "We are very pleased that governments have broadly listened to ICS as we have explained our concerns about these complex implementation challenges."

Regarding other environmental issues, ICS voiced its support for the principle of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions, but not for any subsequent market based measures built on the system.

The agm also discussed the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), welcoming its introduction in August this year and deeming it "vital that shipping companies prepare a Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance, Part II, for each of their ships as soon as possible."

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