Today in Singapore, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) signed a joint memorandum of understanding.
This new MOU codifies the extensive level of co-operation that already exists between these important international trade associations and provides a framework for their closer co-operation. The three associations collectively represent over 90 percent of the world merchant fleet. The agreement recognises their respective memberships of national shipowners’ associations and the unique and special relationship which their members enjoy with their national governments.
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.
“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, Mr 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” said ASA President, Mr 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” said ECSA President, Mr Panagiotis Laskaridis.
A copy of the MOU can be seen on the ICS website.