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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 

At Intercargo's Executive and Technical Committee meetings, held in Hong Kong on 4 and 5 March 2019, the dry bulk trade association re-iterated its commitment to safe, efficient, high quality and environmentally-friendly shipping industry and its support for free and fair competition.

The executive committee stressed the importance of investigating incidents and the subsequent publication of casualty investigation reports in a timely manner, in order for lessons to be learnt. Intercargo urges all relevant administrations, that have not done so, to investigate incidents and publish the reports – especially the one concerning the Stellar Daisy loss which has been long expected by the industry.

Moisture related cargo shifting, widely referred to as liquefaction, continues to be a major concern. Although there was no reported loss of life or vessel attributed to liquefaction in 2018, Intercargo urges all stakeholders to remain vigilant and to fulfil the obligations required by the IMSBC Code.

Intercargo supports the 2020 Sulphur Cap and its implementation date of 1st January 2020. However, the Association cannot ignore the safety issues that are likely to arise with this important regulation. The successful, effective and orderly implementation of the regulation rests not only with ship operators but equally with IMO Member States and with suppliers (involving oil refineries, bunker suppliers and Charterers) who need to secure the worldwide availability of safe compliant fuels - a particular problem for ships in the dry bulk tramp trades.

Intercargo welcomed the initial strategy for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) adopted by IMO and continues its participation in the global regulator’s deliberations. The ambitious objectives that have been set will require in the long term adequate innovative technological solutions, which do not yet exist, as 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 - who have the responsibility about how ships are used and their speeds - along with shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, and fuel suppliers are involved in IMO’s deliberations.

Intercargo remains committed to investigating ongoing practical problems in retrofitting and operating BWMS in dry bulk ships. Implementation challenges include adequate worldwide spares and service support for these systems, and availability of proven systems which can perform under all conditions. Port States are urged not to develop more onerous local requirements for ballast water on top of IMO’s Convention.

Compliance with the discharge requirements of MARPOL for cargo residues and cargo hold washing water which may be Hazardous to the Marine Environment (HME) depends largely on the availability of adequate Port Reception Facilities (PRFs). Intercargo urges a more effective system by IMO for information collection and sharing to ensure compliance.

The Association’s Membership has increased significantly. The latest count comprises 140 Full Members with 2,215 bulkers entered with the Association, with a total capacity of 208 m dwt.

Secretary General Dr Kostas G Gkonis said: “Regulatory requirements have been progressing at a rapid pace as in the previous two years – and this will continue. In this context, Intercargo’s three reference pillars of safety, efficiency, and environmental soundness with our constant aim for ‘quality & operational excellence’ remain more relevant than ever.”

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