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Press release from Intertanko Tokyo event

By • May 14th, 2009 • Category: General

Although we are not posting this as a podcast, we felt that the contents of this press release from our friends at INTERTANKO would be of interest to you: please feel free to add your comments below…

May 14:

This decade has seen INTERTANKO and the tanker industry, by taking a lead and coming up with proactive suggestions to resolve key issues, move gradually into a greater position of influence and trust, from where it can achieve tangible results.

This has involved inter alia an unflagging commitment to the international regulatory process evolving at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). INTERTANKO has intensified its presence at the IMO as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), working with governments and with the industry towards achieving regulations that are fair and just at the same time as being workable in practice. We are present at every relevant committee and working group meeting which last year involved getting on for 5,000 working hours – with up to half as much again spent on preparatory work, correspondence groups and industry pre-meetings.

Proactiveness has become the name of the game. INTERTANKO’s Members want it to be an industry leader. They want to see their Association actively involved. They want to feel that their Association is making a difference. “We are proud to be proactive,” says INTERTANKO’s Chairman Nicholas Fistes. “We believe that the strategic insight and expertise that we have, the information and advice that we can offer our Members, the trust and respect that our work engenders, and the involvement that we enjoy in the regulatory process, all offer our Members exactly what they are looking for, as well as offering great value for money, as we represent their interests around the world.”

Greenhouse Gases (GHG)

If the IMO decides to include Market-Based Instruments (MBIs) in its GHG regulatory package, INTERTANKO’s Council agrees that the following key guiding principles must be met for any market-based initiative:

• It should be governed by the IMO and be specific for the shipping industry.
• It should be effective in contributing to the reduction of total GHG emissions.
• It should be environmentally sustainable without negative impact on global trade and growth.
• It should be efficient and credible in respect of enforcement and monitoring.

It was also agreed that any market-based incentive must involve the principal stakeholders.

INTERTANKO’s Council believes that INTERTANKO:

• should continue to work on the refinement of the Energy Efficiency Design Index and of the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator and Ship Efficiency Management Plans;
• should include the GHG Best Practices as an INTERTANKO Best Practice document and develop the necessary Guidelines to assist members in implementing the measures listed;
• should keep an open mind regarding further developments of all suggested market-based mechanisms, although Members stated a preference for a system built around fuel usage, and a system that does not disadvantage those who have already invested in GHG reducing measures.

We will be encouraging the application by the industry of the Design Index as a tool to ensure the GHG efficiency of new ships and the Operational Indicator as a tool for stakeholders to use for the efficient GHG operation of ships in service. We will therefore be working with builders, engine manufacturers and designers on the former and with charterers, port and terminal bodies and others on the latter.


Council recognises the importance of hardening the target for pirates. However it reiterates its belief that merchant ships should remain unarmed. It believes that arming ships will only escalate the violence used by pirates.

It emphasises the importance of full dissemination of Best Management Practices for counter-piracy, and also the importance of registering ships passing through the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin and reporting regularly to the (UK)MTO.

Council stresses that the solutions to the eradication of Piracy in the region lie on the ground in Somalia, and calls on governments to maintain their support by the continued provision of appropriate military assets to maintain the international sea-lanes.

INTERTANKO’s Members re-affirm that their principal concern will always be for the safety and welfare of their crews and that individual owners should be free to use their judgment and discretion with the appropriate actions to be taken after a full assessment of the risks.

Criminalisation and Hebei Spirit

INTERTANKO continues to express its deep concern over the growing trend in various countries around the world to unjustifiably criminalise and detain seafarers for simple error.

In the case of the Hebei Spirit, a recent Korean Supreme Court hearing found the vessel’s Captain Jasprit Chalwa and its Chief Officer Syam Chetan (the Hebei Two) (see note for detail of the incident) innocent of the criminal charge of vessel destruction (based on which imprisonment was imposed last December by the Appeal Court). But the case has been remanded to a lower court to prepare judgement according to the Supreme Court findings.

This means that the Hebei Two are still detained in Korea – where they have been against their will since the incident in December 2007. Council members yesterday signed a letter to Korea’s Supreme Court asking for the Hebei Two to temporarily leave Korea, or failing that to at least ensure that the lower court expedites its judgement. The letter was despatched yesterday evening.

Safety culture.

Council recognises some similarities (and some differences) between the aviation, the nuclear and the shipping industries from a safety point of view.
However it concludes that a safety-conscious work environment (where there exists a freedom to raise concerns without fear of retribution) is just one (albeit important) element of a strong safety culture, where safety is the over-riding priority, and that the following short principles are also of utmost importance in a strong safety culture.
– Everyone is personally responsible for safety
– Leaders demonstrate commitment to safety
– Trust permeates the organisation/company
– Decision making reflects “safety first”
– A questioning attitude is cultivated
– Organisational learning is embraced
– The safety culture undergoes constant examination


INTERTANKO’s membership has increased to a record 270 Members (end December 2008) with over 3,100 tankers of over 250m dwt – up over the last five years from 227 Members (+20%) with 2193 tankers (+42.5%) of 165m dwt (+50%). Associate Membership has increased to 333 from 271 (+23%)

We welcome four new Members with 20 ships of 1.17m dwt:
• Goodwood Ship Management Pte Ltd, Singapore
• India Steamship (A Division of Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd.), India
• Scorship Navigation GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
• Wisby Shipmanagement, Sweden

We also welcome 16 new Associate Members.

Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Executive Committee, Committees and Honorary Members

INTERTANKO is delighted that Council re-elected Nick Fistes as Chairman of the Association. Graham Westgarth, President of Teekay Marine Services, was elected as a Vice Chairmen, joining Bengt Hermelin and David Koo. 11 new Council Members joined the Association’s principal Governing Body.

Council also elected three new members to its Executive Committee – Bob Bishop, CEO of V.Ships; Nikolas Tsakos, President and CEO of Tsakos Energy Navigation; Tsuneo Watanabe, Managing Executive Officer, Mitsui OSK Lines.

INTERTANKO’s committees, formed of experts in their field drawn from our Members, are the backbone of our work in the tanker industry. Council was pleased to confirm two new Committee Chairmen:
New Chairman for the Environmental Committee is Howard Seto, Manager, Environment at Teekay Vancouver.
New Chairman for the Human Element in Shipping Committee is John Adams, Managing Director at Teekay Glasgow.


In response to many of INTERTANKO’s Members requesting an easier method of adopting INTERTANKO’s Training Officer Training Standards (TOTS) initiative, we are very pleased to announce there is now an electronic version of TOTS available in the Seagull Training Administrator.
(See attached separate press release for full information).


International Association of Independent Tanker Owners. This Association has been the voice of the independent tanker owners since 1970. It is a professional, efficient and respected association representing an industry dedicated to delivering a reliable, safe, responsible and competitive service transporting the liquid energy and chemicals that keep the world economy turning. It is also a forum where the tanker industry meets, as well as being a valuable source of information, opinions and guidance for its members and associate members.

Hebei Spirit timeline
Dec 07 – Hebei Spirit, a 260,000 dwt, very large crude oil carrier, anchored at the location instructed by Daesan Port, was struck while still at anchor by a passing crane-carrying barge Samsung 1, which was under tow of tugs Samsung T No 5 and Samho T3, after the tow line connecting Samsung T5 and the crane barge suddenly broke and the tugs lost control. As a result the crane barge began drifting back towards the Hebei Spirit due to effects of the strong winds, current and large windage of the crane, hitting the Hebei Spirit on her port side, causing punctures to the hull and release of some of the crude oil cargo into the sea.

Jun 08 – Hebei Two were found innocent by a Korean court but the prosecutors lodged an appeal preventing Hebei Two’s release

Dec 08 – Korean Appeal Court concluded that Samsung was only partially responsible for the allision, and only responsible for 10% of the oil spilled. The Hebei Two were considered a “flight risk” and were ordered straight to prison in handcuffs.

Jan 09 – The Hebei Two were bailed by the Supreme Court in Seoul (USD 7,500 each). However they may not leave Korea without Supreme Court permission

Apr 09 – Supreme Court verdict. The Hebei Two (and towing captains) were found innocent of criminal charge of vessel destruction (based on which imprisonment was imposed by Appeal Court). The Hebei Spirit (and towing captains) and both owners (HS and SHI) found guilty of oil pollution charge – the fines were upheld (Won60m). But the case was remanded to a lower court to prepare judgement according to Supreme Court findings

Captain Jasprit Chalwa and Chief Officer Syam Chetan of the Hebei Spirit have been detained in Korea since the day of the incident.


The Intertanko Annual Report and Review 2008/2009:

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