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IACS: Outcome of Council C79 Meeting

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Arun Sharma

IACS: Outcome of Council C79 Meeting

IACS Council reaffirms its commitment to meet the challenges posed by new technologies and regulations; reinforcing Quality operations to be the focus of new IACS Chairman.

The IACS Council held its 79th session (C79) in Busan, S. Korea last week, where Quality operations, new technologies and industry engagement were high on the agenda.  C79 was unanimous and forthright in expressing its absolute commitment to maintaining IACS as a badge of quality and to a culture of continuous improvement in Quality Operations. The IACS Council has therefore initiated a process to introduce further enhancements to its Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS) while, in parallel, continuing to work on the evolution of the International Quality Assessment Review Body (IQARB) whose aim is to provide greater transparency and independent oversight of IACS Members’ quality performance.

Recognising the value of good data in decision-making, the IACS Council has also established a high-level group to assess how IACS can embed data into its policy making processes. The importance of objectively justified, scientifically evidenced positions was noted as crucial in enabling IACS to continue to provide policy makers and stakeholders with the robust, detailed and well-argued technical support that they require.

C79 reaffirmed further moves from IACS to deliver on its commitment to transparency and industry engagement.  To this end, IACS launched its new vision and mission statement which is available at http://www.iacs.org.uk/about/iacs-vision-and-mission/.  The Council also welcomed the fact that IACS is now engaging more deeply and frequently than ever with its industry partners.  Through a structured programme of engagement, mutually beneficial feedback is obtained both via detailed technical meetings, and high-level policy meetings with shipbuilders, owners and marine insurers.  These mechanisms ensure that industry concerns and aspirations are properly reflected in the IACS work programme and provide a proactive feedback loop so that progress can be shared and, where possible, common positions adopted.

C79 marked the conclusion of the Korean Register’s Chairmanship of IACS. Looking back on his year in office, KR Chairman and CEO, Mr Jeong-Kie Lee said: “The past year has seen IACS advance a number of key issues.  I was particularly pleased to be able to deliver 12 Recommendations on Cyber Safety and to oversee the successful launch of the IQARB initiative.  It was also my privilege to Chair IACS during its 50th anniversary year and to be able to highlight the many achievements of the Association in a special edition of our annual review’.

Taking over the IACS Chairmanship on 1 July 2019 is Mr Arun Sharma, Executive Chairman of the Indian Register of Shipping, said ‘I am honoured to be taking on the Chairmanship of IACS as it continues to evolve to meet the challenges posed by a rapidly changing maritime world.  IACS has in place a number of related initiatives and my focus will be on bringing those to fruition whilst also ensuring IACS continues to provide expert technical advice and guidance to the international shipping community driven by its mission of promoting the safety of life at sea and the protection of property and the environment.’

Addressing the IACS Council, Mr Sharma outlined how his Chairmanship will look to continuously improving the governance and leadership of the Association, investigating the introduction of data driven decision making and renewing commitment to Quality operations including the further development of IQARB.  Congratulating Mr Lee on the progress made during his time in office, Mr Sharma went on ‘I am grateful to Jeong-Kie for his personal commitment to IACS during his Chairmanship and for laying the groundwork on a number of key initiatives that will be my responsibility to bring to conclusion.  I am confident that with the support of all my Council colleagues, IACS will be able to demonstrate the proactive commitment necessary to ensure that the Association remains well positioned for the many challenges that face the maritime community.’

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