ICS Highlights the Importance of Global Rules for a Global Industry

Tuesday September 30, 2014

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Thursday said that a global framework for shipping was essential to avoid "chaos" in a global industry and called for governments to ratify, implement, and enforce UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions within their jurisdictions.

According to ICS, the international trade body representing shipowners and operators, a "patchwork" of differing national or regional maritime rules will not suffice.

"The [patchwork] alternative would be chaos and market distortion, as well as inferior levels of safety and environmental protection," said ICS.

"IMO Conventions and regulations…have contributed so much to the significant improvement of shipping's safety record and environmental performance," added the organisation.

The comments were delivered in ICS's pamphlet entitled IMO Conventions: Effective Implementation, released for wide circulation within the industry, to mark IMO World Maritime Day 2014.

ICS noted that IMO Conventions have the advantage of applying to all ships worldwide through a combination of flag state inspections and Port State Control.

But the pamphlet also stressed that cooperation is needed to ensure a global framework is consistently applied.

"IMO Conventions need to be ratified by governments, and then implemented and enforced in practice," said ICS.

Earlier this month, the ICS called for caution on environmental rules affecting the global shipping industry.