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The global nature of shipping means ‘only a truly global regulator such as the International Maritime Organization’ can provide the level playing field needed for the industry and all the nations it serves, INTERCARGO has warned.

Yet even the IMO, a United Nations agency, ‘must be careful not to create regulations that put shipping in isolation,’ said the association, which represents the world’s dry bulk shipping sector, following its Semi-Annual Meetings held in Dubai last week.

‘Simply regulating shipping alone will bring distortions and dangers to global trade,’ said INTERCARGO chair Dimitris Fafalios. ‘Ship owners and operators, fuel producers, charterers, cargo owners, shippers and receivers, ports and terminal managers, all share responsibilities in the daily maritime venture that is dry bulk shipping.’

Fafalios added: ‘Dry bulk shipping, which is already one of the most environmentally friendly bulk transport modes, strongly wants to decarbonise. However, I stress that we cannot do this alone.’

Decarbonisation was at the centre of discussions during last week’s meetings. The gathering saw members discuss several key industry issues and their relation to the dry bulk sector, including greenhouse gas reduction, fuel lifecycle analysis, the implementation of new international and regional regulations, as well as sharing experience and information.

While fully supportive of the IMO’s ambition to achieve net zero emission shipping by 2050, INTERCARGO maintains that the responsibility for decarbonisation ‘cannot be placed solely on the shoulders of the ship operator’ and ‘must be dealt with holistically by the entire supply chain.’

The IMO is currently in the process of revising its Green House Gas (GHG) Strategy. INTERCARGO is an active participant at the IMO and says it plans to submit a paper to the MEPC 81 (Marine Environment Protect Committee) meeting in 2024 on the effect of idle time (e.g. port waiting), short voyages, and the effect of laden versus ballast voyages ratio on vessels’ Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) ratings.

‘It was encouraging to have so many of our membership, which has reached record levels, joining us in Dubai both physically and remotely,’ said INTERCARGO Secretary General, Kostas Gkonis. ‘The level of expertise and enthusiasm amongst our members enables us to contribute knowledgeably at the IMO and at numerous other industry fora.’

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