INTERCARGO re-iterated its commitment to a safe, efficient, high quality and environmentally-friendly dry bulk shipping industry. Also, it supports an industry governed by free and fair competition. By doing so, dry bulk shipping lines can counter the various challenges faced.
Port State Control transparency
INTERCARGO, in relation to Port State Control transparency and the lack of any self-assessment structures, continues its efforts to persuade regional MoUs to establish auditing schemes and transparency mechanisms.
The objective is to target unethical behaviour within their areas. However, it is regrettable that so far MoUs seem uninterested to follow.
Thus, crew are distracted from their primary task of safe ship operations by the unethical behaviour of Port Authorities in some coastal states.
Therefore, the Association requests IMO intervention at government levels to curb this practice.
Safe carriage of cargoes and investigation of casualties
The year 2017 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.
This was 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.
It has already commended the Isle of Man Ship Registry, the Flag Administration of the M/V CHESHIRE, for the timely publication and the clarity of its Casualty Investigation Report.
This report allowed the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and the Association, to consider corrective actions (e.g. in relation to the IMSBC code).
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. Thus, it might even necessitate a “naming and shaming” enforcement process.
The Association invites the IMO to regularly publish casualty analyses.
On the implementation of the 2020 regulation for the 0.5% sulphur limit on bunkers, the maritime industry is concerned 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. These involves oil refineries, bunker suppliers and charterers who need to secure the worldwide availability of safe compliant fuels.
This a particular problem for ships in the tramp trades. Policing the quality of the new compliant fuels seems to be a great challenge already. Certainly, it has proved extremely difficult to address the very serious recent problems with existing fuels.
INTERCARGO welcomed the initial strategy for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) from ships adopted by IMO. It will continue its participation in the global regulator’s deliberations.
The ambitious objectives will require adequate technological solutions. For example, GHG emissions largely depend on the design and the technology of the constructed ships, their engines and machinery, and the fuels used for propulsion.
So, 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.
Ballast Water Management (BWM)
INTERCARGO aspires to the effective implementation of the BWM Convention.
It remains committed to investigating the ongoing practical problems in retrofitting existing dry bulk ships with BWM systems and operating them.
Implementation challenges also include the following.
- Adequate worldwide spares support for these systems
- Availability of proven systems, which can perform under all conditions
- Service backup
Hence, achieving the effective implementation of the BWM Convention will require working closely with the manufacturers.
Port Reception Facilities
Compliance with the discharge requirements of MARPOL for cargo residues and cargo hold washing waters which are Hazardous to the Marine Environment (HME) 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.
Therefore, the Associate would urge a more effective system by IMO for information collection and sharing to ensure compliance.