Round Table of shipping associations has stressed that any CO2 emission reduction measures applied to shipping should only be designed and implemented through the IMO.
Ahead of the COP 15 meeting next month, the Round Table of shipping associations has stressed that any CO2 emission reduction measures applied to shipping should only be designed and implemented through the IMO.
Furthermore, they agreed that all such measures should be recognised on a truly international basis and be applied to all ships in international trade, regardless of flag.
Maintaining a level playing field was also fundamentally important in order to achieve genuine environmental benefit. Any measure should be analysed by IMO to ensure that there is no inadvertent adverse impact on the growth in world trade, or on competition within the industry.
Turning to piracy, the group's chairmen said that despite the efforts of the United Nations, the IMO, individual Governments and their navies, piracy continued off the Somali coast.
The group urged governments to agree on tougher measures to safeguard international shipping. These should include the search for land based solutions and a more robust approach to prosecution and conviction of pirates, through amendments to national law in all states concerned and under existing treaty obligations.
The shipping industry itself bore a heavy responsibility to assure the safety of seafarers, and the international associations re-iterated their view that complete compliance with the widely circulated Best Management Practice (BMP) is an absolute pre-requisite for all ships navigating through the "at risk" areas in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
Shipping should do and is doing, all it can to help combat piracy, but it is the obligation of governments to ensure the freedom of the high seas, to reserve them for peaceful purpose and to assure the freedom of navigation.
They also recognised that piracy remains a problem in other locations, indicating a need for a global perspective and response.
As for seafarer treatment, port and coastal state authorities worldwide were urged to respect the IMO/ILO Guidelines on the fair treatment of seafarers in the event of an accident.
The group feared that recruitment and retention of seafarers was being negatively affected by criminalisation and unfair treatment.
All governments were urged to respect the rule of law where everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. There should be no imprisonment or detention of seafarers without charges having been brought and/or without trial.
An accident is not a deliberate act, neither is negligence to be viewed as willful misconduct. Respect for international law is paramount, the group said.
The meeting held in London earlier this week, was attended by the chairmen of BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping/International Shipping Federation, INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO.