Developments in shipping presented by the USCG following the recent session of the Maritime Safety Committee of IMO
On Monday 28 November 2016, Member company CERES hosted in Piraeus yet another event organized by HELMEPA in the framework of the long standing cooperation with the United States Coast Guard. Rear Admiral Paul F.Thomas, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, USCG, presented the developments and the future of shipping as shaped after the 90th session of MSC of IMO. Present at he presentation was also 2nd Vice Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Vice Admiral G. Barkatsas.
RADM Thomas, addressing the 50 guests, representatives of HELMEPA Member companies, the Hellenic Coast Guard, maritime entities, the American Embassy in Athens and shipping press, referred to the three challenges that collectively the maritime community has to continue to meet in the coming decades: increased capacity, need for reducig the environmental footprint of shipping and the growing complexity of legislation both on the IMO level and the domestic one.
Focusing on the environmental requirements, he emphasized that today we have the means to monitor every waste stream coming out of ships as well as the technology to reduce them. He presented in detail the situation regarding the ballast water management systems, noting that not every system works for every ship while in addition to installation, operators have to provide for crew training and a relative contingency plan.
Furthermore, he mentioned air emissions and the sulphur cap of 2020 as well as other topics such as e-Navigation and cyber security. At the latter, RADM Thomas praised the efforts of the global maritime sector with the issuing of the related guidelines and he stressed that countering this operational risk should take place by integrating it in the ISM Code and anyway with the initiative of IMO rather than unilateral measures. Closing, the Admiral referred to Qualship 21 and the significance of having the Greek flag within the program. Finally, he praised the search and rescue efforts of the Hellenic Coast Guard that, as he said, are conducted in “a humane and heroic way”.
The questions and dialogue that followed proved once again the great interest of Member companies on subjects related to the best preparation of ships and seafarers towards the implementation of legislation in the waters and ports of the US.
HELMEPA Chairman Dr. George Gratsos thanked Admiral Thomas presenting him with a commemorative silver “trireme”, symbol of the maritime history of Greece.
The event closed with a reception, kindly hosted by CERES.