Looking forward to LISW19

ISSA has underlined its position as a major international shipping and maritime trade association by being chosen as an official Supporting Organisation of London International Shipping Week 2019.

Being associated with this event is important because LISW19 will attract over 20,000 of the global shipping industry decision makers to the City during the week of September 9-13. Representatives from across all shipping sectors will network with Ministers and officials from 13 UK Government Departments and regulators from overseas at an estimated 200 events to be held during LISW. The week will culminate on the Thursday in a headline Conference and Gala Dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane. 

As a chosen Supporting Organisation, ISSA is permitted to hold an official LISW19 event and we are delighted to announce that we will be holding an ISSA Cocktail Reception at The Baltic Exchange at 6.30pm on Monday September 9th in association with one of our event sponsor. Our sincere thanks go out to our sponsor for their support. 

Message from our President

Dear ISSA Members & Colleagues

I would like to welcome you to the new look ISSA Newsletter. It is all part of our strategy to keep you all informed about what is going on in our great association. We will be looking to publish it every two months and it will be packed full of stories from the world of ISSA.

Under our new Secretariat headed up by Sean Moloney and Yvonne Paul, who many of you know, we have also boosted out social media presence and we can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn. We have also started to push out some interesting press notices about our work at the IMO.

If you have any stories you would like featured then please send them through to our secretariat vial the email address secretariat@shipsupply.org.

In the meantime, happy reading.

Saeed Al Malik

Have you booked your seat at ISSA64 in Busan

Planning is at an advanced stage for this year’s Convention in Busan from November 8-9 with it promising to be an excellent event once again.

Our thanks go to our colleagues at the Korea Shipsuppliers & Services Association (KSSA) and the Singapore Association of Shipsuppliers and Services (SASS) for all their hard work. We would especially like to thank our own Senior Executive Vice President Abdul Hameed Hajah for his efforts and guidance in making this Convention a successful one. 

And we at ISSA are reaching out to those National Associations and Associate Members who may not have been to Convention for a few years, to nip onto the official Convention website http://issa2019busan.com/2019/english/main/index_en.asp and book your seat and come along for some excellent networking and strong debate.

We look forward to seeing you all there. 

ISSA raises port access concerns at the IMO

ISSA has taken the issue of unfair port access practices levied against its members to the international stage by delivering a verbal and written intervention on the issue at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Presenting the submission, first of all to the FAL43 meeting in April and then to the Maritime Safety Committee meeting in June, ISSA told IMO member states that its members continued to experience unwarranted delay, obstruction and unfair charges when they try to enter ports to deliver stores to ships.

“When the ISPS Code was devised and passed into IMO law, we worked hard to ensure that the role of the ship supplier was highlighted, recognised and incorporated into the legislation,” ISSA said.

“Supplies to ships are governed and driven by the ship owners and ship managers. Full documentation is required and is to be found with every ship supply delivery made to a vessel. Ship suppliers do not just arrive at the dock gate without clear orders and documentation.

”In 2016, when the legislation was updated, we again produced a detailed booklet highlighting the agreed operational parameters within which ship suppliers would operate to ensure both the spirit and letter of the law were observed during ship supply operations.

”Now, we come before distinguished delegates once again to respectfully draw to the Committee’s attention the lack of co-operation by Port Authorities in many places with ship suppliers. Daily our members – and we are sure non-members also suffer similar obstruction – encounter unwarranted delays, unworkable time slots for stores deliveries and absurdly high charges by some ports simply to allow a stores truck to enter and go about its lawful business,” ISSA said.

Quoting three examples of such practices, ISSA reminded delegates that detailed examination of these port rules shows that they fly in the face of what is set out in the ISPS Code. 

“In addition they are having an adverse impact on ship operations because, trite though the phrase might be, ships can’t sail without stores.

“We much appreciate the previous messages sent to Member States reminding them of the need for port operations to be conducted in accordance with the ISPS Code and reminding them that ship supply forms an integral part of port operations globally and should not be impeded unnecessarily.

“We would respectfully ask that another reminder is sent to Member States that ship supply has to be treated properly as our Members have a right to go about their business serving the global fleet within the terms set out in the ISPS Code.

“Furthermore, we ask that Member States remind their relevant departments that the ISPS Code is not to be considered as a money-making venture but a co-ordinated legal framework which has very successfully protected ports and ships globally from any harm as a result of security breaches,” ISSA concluded.

A busy week networking in London

Following on from the fruitful day of discussion at the ISSA Board meeting in London in early June, the ISSA management team took the opportunity to maximise its time in this major maritime capital with a series of important meetings. 

Visiting the offices of Elaborate Communications on Tuesday proved to be an excellent opportunity for the Executive Board to see where our new Secretariat is now being run from, and I think we speak for all when we say it was good to see the strength in depth Elaborate has with its staff and resources. Sean Moloney and his team have had a long association with ISSA over the years and his involvement in maritime publishing and PR at the highest level can only put ISSA in good stead.

Our visit to the BASS AGM lunch was a real treat on Wednesday and I would personally like to thank John Davy and Geoff Marchant for their generosity and guidance on the day. Despite the weather, it was an excellent day and a great opportunity for the ISSA Executive Board to meet our British friends and to hear about the issues they are dealing with. And to have a nice lunch on a boat travelling down the River Thames was a real treat.

Myself, our Senior Executive Vice President and the ISSA Treasurer had an opportunity to meet the head of Chartco, Martin Taylor to discuss plans for a digitised ISSA 2019 Catalogue. We discussed a number of important issues and he explained in detail how he believed the catalogue should be distributed to the international maritime communityWe have asked for further costings and more details and I will report back when these have been received by the Secretariat, we are waiting for the CHARTCO proposal for now. 

The Treasurer and I, took the opportunity to meet representatives from the global shipping industry while we were in London to increase the awareness ISSA, and our first meeting with Richard Ballantyne, CEO of the British Ports Associationwas pivotal considering the work we are doing on port access. We explained our situation in detail to Richard who has pledged to work with ISSA in raising awareness not only in the UK but also through his membership of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. This is one way to gather support for our cause with our friends at the other international associations.

We also had an excellent meeting with the IMO Secretariat who has also pledged to raise awareness of the plight of ship suppliers seeking to supply ships in port. The IMO will explore ways to educate member states on the issue. Our port access document was also formally presented at June’s Maritime Safety Committee meeting and we took the opportunity to view part of the week’s meeting from the plenary floor, very good meeting and possible of further cooperation is on the horizon.

We rounded off a very busy week with an excellent meeting with the Secretary-General of BIMCO, Mr Angus Frew (pictured with our President and Treasurer)Angus was very interested to hear about how ISSA operatesand what issues are affecting our sector. We have pledged to work closely together on a number of issues. Looking forward – not least port access and industry documentation.

Our last meeting was with a SOFTWARE company to discuss a possible business cooperation in the future. This potential company provides, as some of you may know, an E-Procurement platform for both the Buyers and Sellers. This meeting was to only explore the possibilities of the cooperation and to check their strength and capabilities and their intentions. We will be exploring further.  

ITF Lauds MLC Abandonment Provisions Coming into Force

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)  has welcomed new Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) provisions on crew abandonment that come into force on Wednesday, January 18.

Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), ship owners must have insurance to assist the seafarers on board vessels if they are abandoned.

All ships, to which the convention applies, whose flag states have ratified the MLC must have the insurance certificate on board and on show in English.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “From tomorrow the mechanisms will be in place for a huge change that will finally treat the running sore of crew abandonment. At last the fundamental idea that those who send seafarers to sea have a responsibility for them is enshrined in regulation. This provision has been a long time coming, and, just as with the MLC itself, the ITF is proud to have been involved since its conception, working alongside the ILO, governments and shipping organisations.”

Abandonment occurs when the ship owner fails to cover the cost of the seafarer’s repatriation; or has left the seafarer without the necessary maintenance and support; or has otherwise unilaterally severed their ties with the seafarer including failure to pay contractual wages for a period of at least two months.

ITF says that the insurance will cover seafarers for up to four months outstanding wages and entitlements in line with their employment agreement or CBA, depending on when they apply.

The insurance must also cover reasonable expenses such as repatriation, food, clothing where necessary, accommodation, drinking water, essential fuel for survival on board and any necessary medical care, ITF said. It will apply from the moment of abandonment to the time of arrival back home.

The International Group of P&I clubs have set up 24 hour emergency helplines to assist the seafarers.

“It’s important that seafarers understand what the changes mean. We recommend that they check that there is a valid insurance certificate on board and realise that if abandonment does occur that they must raise the alarm right away. To help spread this message we’ve set up dedicated web pages in multiple languages www.itfseafarers-abandonment.org, and we are making available simple A4 instruction posters for use in missions and on ships,” ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said.

ISSA was fully engaged in the development of the MLC and, in addition, funded half the development and establishment costs of the on-line Database containing details of abandoned vessels.

What entry into force of these provisions means for ship suppliers is that payment for supplies delivered to an abandoned vessel will now be paid for from the insurance policy that becomes mandatory.

This is a significant benefit to Members who in the past have, out of the goodness of their hearts, supplied abandoned crew with stores whilst they wait for a resolution to their plight.

(With acknowledgement to World Maritime News)

Access to Ports & Terminals by Ship Suppliers – the facts

Recently an ISSA Member experienced difficulty accessing a customer’s vessel in Port to deliver supplies.
This has highlighted a problem that many Members have experienced. However, despite what you may hear to the contrary, the rules concerning access to Ports, Terminals & Vessel by ship suppliers are very clear.
It was felt these should be repeated and relayed to member companies in case of difficulties.
In the recent case the Port Operator stated that supplies to the ship could and should be handled by the ship’s agent.
We immediately consulted the Secretary-General of the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA) Mr Jonathan Williams on the matter and he confirmed to us that whilst the ship’s agent will be aware of the vessel’s supply arrangements these will have been arranged in advance by the vessel, the manager or the owner directly with the ship supplier according to their usual practice and contractual arrangements.
In addition ship supply is specifically mentioned in the ISPS Code as being a bona fide industry sector that is allowed full access to ports and terminals whilst taking full note of any local security regulations over and above ISPS present in a port or terminal. You will recall ISSA has a specific publication that sets out these rights and obligations, matching them to the appropriate sections of the ISPS Code.
Finally Members should note that Ship Supply has its own designated United Nations Category Number: 5190. The following web link to the UN Page confirms this:

This UN category number – hard fought for by ISSA in the 1980s – legitimises our industry as nothing else can do. It gives us rights and obligations and in no way means that ships agents – or anyone else for that matter – have any command or influence over ship suppliers.

Thus there is no legal basis by which a Port Operator can impose a blanket ban on ship suppliers accessing ships berthed in their Port.

Obviously, as mentioned earlier, ship suppliers (like everyone else) have to obey the rules and regulations pertaining to a port/terminal.

Should any Member experience any difficulties accessing a Port to supply a vessel they are cordially invited to contact the ISSA Secretariat as soon as possible so we can assist in rectifying the situation – secretariat@shipsupply.org