EU Ship Suppliers Must be Classed as Essential Workers

OCEAN requests EU to keep our ships stocked

 Ship suppliers should be given ‘essential worker’ status to enable them to keep the EU’s ships stocked with vital supplies and spare parts during the global coronavirus pandemic, says the European Ship Suppliers Organization

Brussels, Belgium – Responding to complaints from ship supply companies that they are being prevented from delivering to ships in some ports, OCEAN is asking for ship suppliers in the EU to be given essential worker status.

This would enable ship suppliers to undertake their important supply tasks unhindered.

OCEAN Chair W. Sump acknowledges that the shipping industry was facing unprecedented pressures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and that the situation was unlikely to ease until the global health problem comes under control.

“While OCEAN members are mindful of the need to follow EU and WHO and individual national health guidelines when delivering supplies to ships (this can include leaving the supplies on the quayside for the ship to load onboard itself), they are finding it difficult to secure the correctly signed documentation etc from the ship’s bridge because of the distancing rules. These are issues that can be sorted out at a local level but port state control authorities must ensure that all steps are taken to enable EU’s ships to continue to be supplied.

OCEAN would like to ask the the EU Commission to request all Member States to classify ship supply and ship suppliers as essential services and essential workers so they can undertake their important tasks at the world’s ports. If this request could considered in the EU Guidance as soon as possible, I am sure this will go some way to rectifying the situation,” he said.

“OCEAN is speaking out on behalf of the EU’s ship supply community to ensure that ships and their crews can receive vital supplies.  We are an important part of the supply chain and it is essential that we are able to bring much-needed food, medical supplies and spare parts to ships in order for world trade to continue. With crew changes almost impossible throughout most of the world at this present time, some seafarers have been onboard for many months and potentially face many more months at sea before they can return to their loved ones. It is important that they receive the equipment and stores they need.” Vice-Chair D. Cupido noted

Ship Suppliers Must be Classed as Essential Workers, says ISSA

Ship suppliers should be given ‘essential worker’ status to enable them to keep the world’s ships stocked with vital supplies and spare parts during the global coronavirus pandemic, says the International Ship Suppliers & Services Association (ISSA).

Responding to complaints from ship supply companies that they are being prevented from delivering to ships in some ports, ISSA has written to the heads of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) asking for ship suppliers around the world to be given essential worker status.

This would enable ship suppliers to undertake their important supply tasks unhindered.

Writing to Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General, ISSA President Saeed Al Malik acknowledged that the shipping industry was facing unprecedented pressures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and that the situation was unlikely to ease until the global health problem comes under control.

Thanking the Secretary-General for his recent statement and video underlining the importance of ships and crew being allowed to sail and to be resupplied, Mr Al Malik stressed that the situation facing suppliers around the world was getting worse as the coronavirus takes hold.

“While ISSA members are mindful of the need to follow WHO and individual national health guidelines when delivering supplies to ships (this can include leaving the supplies on the quayside for the ship to load onboard itself), they are finding it difficult to secure the correctly signed documentation etc from the ship’s bridge because of the distancing rules. These are issues that can be sorted out at a local level but, as you have acknowledged yourself, port state control authorities must ensure that all steps are taken to enable the world’s ships to continue to be supplied.

“ISSA would like to ask the IMO to request all Member States to classify ship supply and ship suppliers as essential services and essential workers so they can undertake their important tasks at the world’s ports. If this request could be sent by the IMO to IMO Member States as soon as possible, I am sure this will go some way to rectifying the situation,” he said.

In a separate letter to Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary-General, the ISSA President said suppliers were finding it difficult “to undertake their tasks in some ports around the world, especially when it comes to the smooth declaration of documentation across borders that are either closed to each other or are facing problems.

“ISSA would like to ask the WCO to request all its members to classify ship supply and ship suppliers as essential services and essential workers so they can undertake their important tasks at the world’s ports and to look at putting in place smooth and comprehensive arrangements relating to the declaration of documents,” he concluded.

Mr Al Malik commented: “ISSA is speaking out on behalf of the world’s ship supply community to ensure that ships and their crews can receive vital supplies.  We are an important part of the supply chain and it is essential that we are able to bring much-needed food, medical supplies and spare parts to ships in order for world trade to continue. With crew changes almost impossible throughout most of the world at this present time, some seafarers have been onboard for many months and potentially face many more months at sea before they can return to their loved ones. It is important that they receive the equipment and stores they need.”

 

Crew members could be at risk as ships are being prevented from taking on supplies because of Coronavirus, says ISSA

Seafarers could be the ones to suffer as ships find themselves unable to take on essential medical supplies and provisions as the extent of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic takes hold around the world, according to the International Shipsuppliers & Services Association (ISSA).

Ships cannot operate without the supplies and provisions they need but the decision by some ports to refuse certain vessels entry because of previous port calls at Coronavirus-affected areas, has meant that some are left to sail off without taking on the vital supplies they may need.

This can mean that seafarers may be left without vital medicines and provisions as well as important spare parts.

ISSA, which looks after the interests of the world’s ship chandlers, is strongly supporting global measures to slow the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak and said the industry should work together to protect those working ashore as well as at sea.

Saeed Al Malik, President of ISSA, said the association had already issued guidance to its 1,600 members worldwide on how to keep safe when delivering supplies to vessels at port, but he acknowledged that the task facing suppliers was getting tougher because of the restrictions ports were placing on ships visiting their terminals.

“Ships need supplying and while it is important that our members adhere to the health advice and terms and conditions of the ports they are servicing, ship owners and port and terminal operators need to work closely with our sector to ensure their ships and crew are looked after effectively,” he said.

But ISSA members have already complained that in some instances they are being prevented from boarding certain ships and stopped from supplying essential masks, overalls and PPE safety equipment.

ISSA is a non-governmental organisation member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and has already raised concerns over the way some ship suppliers are denied access to ships in some ports of the world.

In an IMO submission last year, 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 continue to experience unwarranted delay, obstruction and unfair charges when they try to enter ports to deliver stores to ships.

IMO Secretary-General joins ISSA to welcome in LISW19

ISSA was honoured to welcome the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization to its official cocktail reception at the Baltic Exchange to mark the start of London International Shipping Week 2019.

Mr Kitack Lim met with representatives from the ISSA Board as well as some of the 40 invited guests at the function. With over 20,000 people attending in excess of 200 events, LISW 2019 was a very busy time and we were very grateful that the Secretary General took the time out to join our event.

Other important guests included Denis Petropoulos, Chairman of The Baltic Exchange, as well as Olav Nortun, CEO of the Thome Group. ISSA would like to thank Samson Ropes for their sponsorship of the cocktail event. Their help was greatly appreciated.

ISSA President Saeed Al Malik was also a guest of Her Majesty’s Government at the Banqueting House the next day, where he joined 500 other industry VIPs to welcome in the week’s events. The guest speaker was Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

To see all images from the LISW19 ISSA Cocktail Reception click here

ISSA President at Banqueting house

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.