ICS is the principal international trade association for shipowners. Its membership comprises national shipowners' associations from 31 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 75% of the world merchant fleet.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the industry which its member national shipowners’ associations represent, fully supports the current IMO focus on the maintenance and further development of high standards for ship construction.
ICS therefore welcomes the decision by governments at the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (on Friday 21 May) to adopt amendments to the SOLAS Convention implementing new ‘Goal-based Standards’ (GBS) for the construction of bulk carriers and oil tankers of 150m or over in length.
"This is the culmination of several years of negotiations in which ICS has been closely involved and continues to be active." remarked ICS Marine Director Peter Hinchliffe.
“It is likely that we will increasingly see regulatory developments at IMO being based on a more explicit goal-based assessment of hazards and their mitigation measures. In particular this may apply to requirements for the specification and carriage of shipboard equipment.”
ICS recognises that some important practical matters still need to be resolved, such as the detailed administrative arrangements for the proposed GBS verification process. It is expected that final decisions on these matters will be taken at the forthcoming meeting of the IMO Council.
In addition to the mainstream Goal-based Standards discussions at IMO, ICS continues to participate in a cross industry working group that is addressing the need for all information - that is agreed by IMO for inclusion within the Ship Construction File required by GBS - to be made available on board. This, however, takes into account the reality that a limited number of specific documents, containing more specialised, commercially sensitive information, might need to be held ashore, most likely by the various classification societies, with timely access being provided to relevant parties whenever necessary.