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Marine Log

June 7, 2007

Round Table urges prompt action on IMO issues

International shipping associations are urging prompt action on a number of issues facing IMO--including air pollution standards and ballast water mangement.

The Chairmen of the Round Table ("RT") of international shipping associations (BIMCO, ICS/ISF, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO) reviewed a number of current international issues at a recent meeting in London.

They stressed the crucial importance of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI being adopted by the IMO in early 2008, to prevent unilateral or regional regulation on the issue. They also stressed the importance of the IMO maintaining its leading role in developing measures to address shipping's contribution to global warming and reduction in the generation of greenhouse gases (both CO2 and NOx).

The Round Table continues to support the prompt ratification of the IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention. But it hopes IMO will find a solution to what it says is an "impossible problem confronting shipowners placing orders for new tonnage."

It wants IMO to suspend the requirement for ships delivered in 2009 to be fitted with special treatment equipment as required by the Convention. There is still no technology that is officially proven to comply with the IMO standards, and the Convention has not yet entered into force.

Shipowners are being discouraged from the installation and testing of prototype installations because they are not being guaranteed grandfathering protection.

The Round Table chairmen also expressed their concerns that the U.S. is advancing requirements that are stricter than those of the IMO Convention.

The Round Table associations also expressed their "dismay" at the "lamentably slow" ratification by national governments of key IMO Conventions, including MARPOL Annex VI (existing version), Anti-fouling Convention, Ballast Water Convention, LLMC Protocol, and the HNS and Bunker Spill Liability Conventions.

The associations are calling on governments to recognize their obligations to ensure a global regulatory framework for a global industry.

The Round Table chairmen support a BIMCO's initiative promoting the concept of a "Quality Coastal State" that encompasses a number of identifiable criteria for performance measurements for coastal and port states.

Present at the London meeting were:

RT Chairmen

Nicholas Fistes, INTERTANKO

Spyros Polemis, ICS/ISF

Knud Pontoppidan, BIMCO

Nicky Pappadakis, INTERCARGO

RT Chief Executives

Roger Holt, Secretary General, INTERCARGO

Tony Mason, Secretary General, ICS/ISF

Carsten Melchiors, Secretary General, BIMCO

Peter Swift, Managing Director, INTERTANKO