Shipowners Ask For Sustainable Regulation On IMO World Maritime Day

According to official information, the global trade association for the shipping industry –  the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – has called for all future proposals for environmental regulation that impact  ships to be subjected to a full and proper cost benefit analysis before adoption by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). ICS is using the occasion of IMO World Maritime Day to explain its views on sustainable shipping and has produced a special brochure for maritime policy makers (You can view the brochure at

ICS argues that when it comes to environmental sustainability, shipping is the only major industry to already have a binding global deal in place – agreed by IMO – to reduce its CO2 emissions.  When it comes to social sustainability and decent working conditions for seafarers, shipping is the only industry to have a mandatory global framework in place which is as comprehensive as the new ILO Maritime Labour Convention.

But the economic sustainability of shipping is vital too.  ICS suggests that maritime policy makers should give equal priority to each of the three pillars of sustainable development including the economic, as well as the environmental and social.

ICS members believe that the conduct by IMO of full and proper cost benefit analysis of all new regulatory proposals will help to ensure the delivery of sustainable development, consistent with the goals agreed by the United Nations.

While shipping’s regulators have a responsibility to protect the environment and the interests of wider society, they also need to be practical and have an understanding of the impact that their actions can have on the industry’s own long term sustainability, especially if the ‘compelling need’ for potentially very expensive proposals has not been properly demonstrated.

The ICS brochure, which is being presented to governments at the IMO Symposium on World Maritime Day, makes the case that the sustainable development of society at large requires an international shipping industry that is sustainable too.

This is especially important in view of shipping’s role in the continuing spread of global prosperity and the movement of about 90% of trade in goods, energy and raw materials, and  which is  a prerequisite for further economic and social development.

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