July 22 - The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has written to the Paris MOU (memorandum of understanding) in order to draw attention to the global shipping industry's serious concern with respect to the sulphur emission control area (ECA) implement

ICS is encouraging the Paris MOU on port state control to ensure that a harmonised approach to PSC inspections has been developed before January 1, 2015 with respect to the implementation of the 0.1 percent sulphur ECAs.

The chamber has underlined the shipping industry's commitment to full compliance with the IMO sulphur ECA requirements from January 2015. However, it is concerned that information collected by its member national ship owners' associations suggests that many governments are not yet prepared to implement the requirements in a uniform manner, in order to ensure the prevention of a potentially serious market distortion.

Peter Hinchliffe, ICS secretary general, explained: "The shipping industry is investing billions of dollars in order to ensure compliance with this major regulatory change, and the huge costs involved could have a profound impact on the future structure of the entire shipping industry. We therefore think it is vital that governments get the details of any PSC intervention right as we enter a new world in which fuel costs for many ships will increase overnight by 50 percent or more."

"There is only six months to go and it is vital that the Paris MOU and its member states - in co-ordination, as may be appropriate, with the United States and the European Commission - clarify all of the details of ECA implementation with respect to PSC inspection as soon as possible. ICS believes it is important for the maintenance of fair competition that implementation occurs throughout the Paris MOU region in a consistent and harmonised manner," he added.

ICS hopes that the Paris MOU will give serious consideration to the issues raised at the next meeting of its management advisory board, in order to provide clarity.


Peter Hinchliffe.