Bulletin: Shipping in the headlines

On Sunday afternoon we were alerted to the Nave Andromeda incident off the coast of the Isle of Wight. As the day went on it became clear there were stowaways on board and the vessel’s master had alerted the authorities, calling for assistance. With the contacts we have across industry and government, we were able to mobilise ourselves quickly and that evening I was on Sky News talking about what procedures would be in place for an incident like this.

With the swift intervention by the UK security forces the situation was resolved quickly and peacefully. The interest in the incident carried on through Monday where we featured extensively in the mainstream national and international media. Although the military intervention gave this incident a dramatic conclusion, what it also demonstrated was the thirst for information from the media on how ships operate, and on their security procedures, and it has certainly raised the profile of the shipping industry, its importance to global trade and the professionalism of seafarers.

While the Nave Andromeda incident has taken the headlines since the weekend, last week there were hugely important developments at the IMO Inter Sessional Working Group on future regulations around Greenhouse Gas Emissions. This was clearly a hot debate with differing views on enforcement, sector applicability, divisions between developed and less developed maritime nations and significant detail on short term technical operational measures. The positive news is that agreement was made to forward a proposal to MEPC 75 in November to make legally binding measures through the MARPOL convention that will create a key stepping stone in the decarbonisation pathway. As ever, the devil is in the detail, but it is imperative the global shipping industry continues to do everything it can to deliver and commit to the IMO targets.

This week we were delighted to confirm Hadley as the latest organisation to join the Chamber. We are delighted to have Hadley on board and in the next few weeks we will be announcing more companies who have recently joined the Chamber.

We also had confirmation this week that due to Covid-19 we will be postponing our Annual Dinner in February. We are hopeful we can carry on again in 2022 but we will now focus all our efforts on our virtual conference on the 3rd February. Look out for more details on speakers in the next couple of weeks.

We have also had the very sad news today that William A. O’Neil, Secretary-General Emeritus of the IMO, has died aged 93. Our thoughts are with William's family at this difficult time.