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INTERCARGO address key issues

INTERCARGO address key issues

(Posted on 12/10/20)

The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) has held its Annual General Meeting, Executive Committee meeting and Technical Committee meeting via videoconference. It re-iterated its commitment to a safe, efficient, high quality and environmentally sound dry bulk shipping industry.

INTERCARGO represents the interests of quality dry bulk shipowners, with close to 2,400 registered ships out of more than 11,000 ships in the global dry bulk fleet, corresponding to over 25% of the global dry bulk fleet basis deadweight

The meetings were presided over by Chairman Dimitrios J. Fafalios, Vice Chairman Jay K Pillai, Vice Chairman Spyros Tarasis, and Technical Committee Chairman Tom Keenan.

High on INTERCARGO’s agenda were the need to address the humanitarian crisis surrounding crew

changes; safe carriage of cargoes; the investigation of bulk carrier casualties; challenges to the

International Maritime Organizations’ greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and concern on regional

regulation and the continual improvement of operational excellence in dry bulk shipping.

At the meetings, the Membership debated the impact of important industry issues.

This year has been marked by the impact of the coronavirus and the unprecedented disruption it has caused, threatening to compromise global health, commerce, and economic growth.

Unfortunately, the humanitarian crisis caused by the difficulties of crew change is ongoing.

An estimated one third of all seafarers on board are stranded at sea awaiting their relief, despite repeated pleas to

governments from the United Nations (UN)/IMO and industry associations’ calling for urgent assistance

in facilitating crew change.

INTERCARGO would urge leaders of governments along with their health and

immigration authorities to recognise seafarers’ efforts and formally designate seafarers and other marine

personnel as key workers and facilitate crew change at all ports, irrespective of their nationality.

Dimitrios Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO said: “COVID-19 has rocked the nations of the world and led

to deep, soul-searching questions being posed to governments, economies and shipping itself.

The resultant prohibition of sign-on and sign-off of our most important asset, our seafarers, has become the

primary obstacle for a quality bulk carrier ship owner or operator to overcome.”

Despite international efforts it is estimated that as many as 400,000 seafarers, who are truly key workers

in world trade, remained trapped on board their vessels as of September 2020.

“INTERCARGO members have been at the forefront of the efforts to return our seafarers home to their

families and replace them with qualified, healthy crew,” added Fafalios. “Our members have assured us that these efforts will not cease.

“Dry bulk carriers remain the workhorses of international shipping serving essential needs, such as food,

raw materials and energy supply. This has been amply demonstrated during these difficult times.”

On 2020 Sulphur legislation implementation: Dimitrios Fafalios commented: “January ushered in the

widespread, but not worldwide, availability of Low Sulphur Fuel Oil for ships’ bunkers. INTERCARGO joined

with other international shipping organisations in assisting our industry to make this challenging transition

successfully, focusing on the issues of safety, quality and availability as primary concerns for operators in the dry bulk sector.

INTERCARGO offers a Quality Badge widely recognised by the industry and members’ vessels continue to outperform industry averages in respect of both detentions and deficiencies per inspection.

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