Dear ISSA colleagues,
May I welcome you to the world class city of London for what is our first face-to-face ISSA Assembly meeting since Busan in 2019.
The relaxing of travel restrictions has meant shipping and ship supply is able to get back to some level of normality. Myself and my colleagues on the ISSA Executive Board, are delighted to be able to put down our Zoom and Teams screens in favour of once again mixing and networking in person – something we all do best. And I am delighted to see so many of you here. Long may it continue.
We have used this time productively at ISSA and worked on and completed a number of important projects.
Consolidating ISSA’s registration in The Netherlands and moving the bookkeeping there
This has been a major task but was the right thing for the association to undertake. ISSA now has robust bookkeeping processes in place and the bookkeepers liaise constantly with the ISSA Treasurer as well as the ISSA Secretariat in the UK to ensure the finances of ISSA are in rude health. Bank accounts have been set up in The Netherlands and the correct checks and balances put in place.
Revising the ISSA Articles of Association
A major, and necessary, step following the decision to renew and update ISSA register in the Hague. It included updating the Articles themselves as well as formulating an Authority Matrix that governed financial responsibility and governance within ISSA. These documents had to adhere to Dutch law, hence the need to secure Assembly approval in December 2021 and July 2022. The changes have all been minuted and are in the hands of the ISSA lawyers and the notaries in The Netherlands to finalise the process.
Establishing the ISSA Honorary Membership Category
An important and exciting development for ISSA as it means that ship suppliers can work very closely with our customers – the ship owners and managers (our customers)– in shaping and developing ISSA for the future. Honorary membership means that owners and managers (and we have 31 so far) are encouraged to work with and learn and improve together the world of ship supply. Their involvement can only enhance ISSA services and some of its events such as Convention.
IHM – Inventory of Hazardous Materials
Through the work of the Secretariat and the ISSA lawyer, ISSA was able to take the concerns raised by ISSA members straight to the shipowners. As a result, an industry set of guidelines has been drawn up and will be published, setting out what should be done when it comes to the Inventory of Hazardous Materials and Material Declaration thereof. It has the backing of the International Chamber of Shipping as well as organisations like BIMCO.
Continuing the drive to increase membership of ISSA
ISSA is proud of its membership both at National Association level as well as Associate Membership level and works very hard to ensure eligible ship suppliers around the world have every opportunity to join the Association. I would like to thank my Executive Board colleagues Abdul Hajah and Luc Aduo Kouame for their hard work in this area. While we were sad to see the demise of NAMS as a National Association in the US, we were delighted to welcome Ghana onboard as our newest National Association and efforts are being made to attract new National Associations in South America among other places
ISSA continues to drive forward its strategy of quality global ship supply through its Quality Programme and it has introduced a Green ISSA element to the certification as part of ISSA’s embracing of the need to protect the environment. I would like to thank James Slattery, our ISSA Quality Manager, for the work he has done in this area.
Setting up and running online ISSA Roadshows during the pandemic
An essential project during the two years of global lockdown. We will continue to hold online roadshows to help educate and inform ISSA members about the association. There may well be face to face meetings as well in the future.
ISSA Education Programme
One of the pillars of work for this year. Teaming up with training partners in Greece, ISSA has launched its online ISSA Education Programme which will bring high quality training and learning to the laptops and computers in the offices of all our members worldwide. A suite of training courses is being put together with the objective of offering the best training at very competitive prices. Again part of our digital strategy to drive value to our members while driving up quality in the industry.
E-Procurement and Digitalisation
We have already started on this road with digitalisation of our catalogues and our Education Programme and a Working Group has been formed to examine and exploit further opportunities ahead. We will be looking at what digital projects we should be supporting and with which partners.
New ISSA Website
All up and running, future-proofed and tied in with the ISSA App.
New ISSA App
Again, a lot of work has been undertaken here and the App is fully up for purpose. ISSA members can access all they need to on the ISSA website but through the App. Further enhancements will be made as and when necessary. The ISSA App can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play.
Ladies and Gentlemen, many thanks for your attention and I wish you all an enjoyable Assembly meeting.
Saeed Al Malik