ICS and shipowner trade associations agree to enhance cooperation

ICS and shipowner trade associations agree to enhance cooperation

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have signed a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) to codify the extensive level of co-operation that already exists between these associations and provide a framework for their closer co-operation.

The MOU confirms the roles of ICS, ASA and ECSA as the principal global and regional associations, representing shipowners and operators – in all shipping sectors and trades – with those global and regional organisations, regulators and other bodies which impact and affect the interests of international shipping.

The MOU encourages the organisations to strive for a regulatory environment which embraces safe shipping operations, protection of the environment, maintenance of open markets and fair competition based on free trade principles, as well as adherence to internationally adopted standards and procedures. The organisations will also support such regulation of shipping at a global level, in particular at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), and will oppose, where appropriate, unilateral and regional action by governments.

“Shipping is a global industry requiring global rules. It is only natural that as the representatives of the world’s national shipowner associations that we should further cement our relationships to ensure that we work as effectively as possible in support of a global regulatory framework for shipping and in opposition to unwelcome regional or unilateral initiatives that may impede the efficiency of maritime trade” said ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson.

“It is vital that the interests of Asian shipping, which controls an increasingly large proportion of the world fleet, are properly represented at the global level, especially with the increasing importance of Asian economies to overall demand for shipping services. It is of utmost importance that shipowners outside our region are fully aware of local developments that may affect their operations” stated ASA President, Bhumindr Harinsuit

“The maritime policies of the European Union have a significant impact on regulatory developments at fora such as the UN IMO, with major implications for ship operators in Europe and globally. Cooperation with ICS and ASA allows us to enhance our joint efforts to represent the best interests of shipowners, whether at bodies such as IMO or when dealing with the EU institutions,” added ECSA President, Panagiotis Laskaridis.

A copy of the MOU can be accessed here.