Executive Briefings

IMO Rules 'Should' Be Subject to Impact and Sustainability Assessment, Says ICS

There are clearly identifiable steps needed to enhance shipping's already very impressive record of maritime safety, says International Chamber of Shipping Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe. There should be mandatory provisions to provide a place of refuge for ships in need of assistance, plus timely and obligatory reporting of casualty investigations by Flag States to the International Maritime Organization, replicating the handling of aviation incidents. In addition, environmental protection and crew and passenger safety can be addressed better by raising the current level of guidance on providing a place of refuge to a new level of obligation, he said.

Pointing out that accidents may happen even under the most stringent regulatory regimes, Hinchliffe said the industry's ability to learn from such incidents was hampered when accident investigations were not conducted in a timely fashion or the outcomes were not reported to the IMO.

"The track record of rapidly decreasing environmental impact by the shipping industry is the most powerful measure of the steady increase in the safe design, construction and operation of ships," he said.

Sustainability, as highlighted by the recent United Nations Rio+20 Summit on sustainable development, is also a key issue for shipping he explained, stressing that safety, environmental protection and the global quest for reduced dependence on fossil fuel are "inextricably linked."

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Pointing out that accidents may happen even under the most stringent regulatory regimes, Hinchliffe said the industry's ability to learn from such incidents was hampered when accident investigations were not conducted in a timely fashion or the outcomes were not reported to the IMO.

"The track record of rapidly decreasing environmental impact by the shipping industry is the most powerful measure of the steady increase in the safe design, construction and operation of ships," he said.

Sustainability, as highlighted by the recent United Nations Rio+20 Summit on sustainable development, is also a key issue for shipping he explained, stressing that safety, environmental protection and the global quest for reduced dependence on fossil fuel are "inextricably linked."

Read Full Article