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Tripartite initiative goes from strength to strength

Seoul: The sixth annual Tripartite Dialogue between shipowners, shipbuilders and classification societies took place mid-September in Korea, confirming the importance of this Asia-based initiative first launched five years ago under the auspices of Fred Tsao, then chairman of Intercargo.  

Over 70 senior-level attendees from the three sectors reaffirmed their belief in the shipping industry's ability to self-regulate and strive for continuous improvements in standards and performance. Specific information sharing took place on issues such as the coating of ballast tanks and void spaces, practical solutions to waste management, and the principles behind the development of Goal Based Standards - where it was agreed that a working group of Tripartite representatives will meet to discuss a possible co-ordinated position prior to the next session of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee.

Attendees agreed this was the most effective Dialogue held to date. 'We have moved away from the historic blame culture between the industry partners and replaced it with a sharing of views to establish our common concerns, interests and challenges and the recognition of our common goals,' said Li Kejun, president of China Classification Society (CSS) and of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), who chaired one of the three sessions.

The shipbuilding session was led by IHI's Hiroshi 'Dave' Iwamoto, chairman of the Committee for Expertise of Shipbuilding Specifics (CESS), and covered air emissions, industry operational feedback to shipyards, incident information sharing and technology transfer. 'The shipbuilders recognise that we have common problems and the industry needs to work together to develop appropriate standards,' Iwamoto commented.

'We have witnessed an even more cooperative spirit among the members of the Tripartite,' added Intertanko chairman Stephen van Dyck. 'There remains however the need for prompt implementation of common and aggressive strategies to maintain our credibility with politicians and regulators.'

The next full Tripartite meeting is due to take place in Japan in September 2007, with a new Heads of Delegation meeting to be held in Europe early in 2007.   [26/09/06]

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