June 6 - Board members from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have met with ministers from shipping nations around the world and the secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to discuss Arctic shipping.
The meeting took place at the Oslo 2013 Maritime Summit and was attended by minsters and senior officials from Greece, Japan, Norway, Russia, Singapore, the US and the European Commission. Discussions related to the need for government and industry cooperation in order to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Arctic shipping, in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner.
ICS chairman, Masamichi Morooka, stressed that the immediate priority for ICS is to work with the IMO and governments to complete the adoption of the IMO Polar Code - which is expected to be ratified in the SOLAS and MARPOL 2014 conventions.
ICS members also set out further ideas relating to the governance of Arctic waters that included the need for Arctic coastal states to avoid discriminatory treatment of ships registered with non-Arctic nations. ICS also called for clarification of the legal status of Arctic waters - arguing the UNCLOS regime of 'transit passage' for straits used for international passage supersedes the rights of coastal states.