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ICS, ASA and ECSA Commit to Deeper Collaboration

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have signed a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance their cooperation on relevant maritime issues.

Signed in Singapore on April 8, 2019, the new MOU provides a framework for closer cooperation among the three international trade associations.

The trio collectively represents over 90 percent of the world merchant fleet. The agreement recognizes their respective memberships of national shipowners’ associations and the relationship which their members enjoy with their national governments.

Specifically, the MOU confirms the roles of ICS, ASA and ECSA as the principal global and regional associations, representing shipowners and operators – in all shipping sectors and trades – with those global and regional organisations, regulators and other bodies which affect the interests of international shipping.

“Shipping is a global industry requiring global rules. It is only natural that … we should further cement our relationships to ensure that we work as effectively as possible in support of a global regulatory framework for shipping and in opposition to unwelcome regional or unilateral initiatives that may impede the efficiency of maritime trade,” Esben Poulsson, ICS Chairman, said.

“It is vital that the interests of Asian shipping, which controls an increasingly large proportion of the world fleet, are properly represented at the global level, especially with the increasing importance of Asian economies to overall demand for shipping services,” Bhumindr Harinsuit, ASA President, commented, adding that it’s important for shipowners outside the Asian region to be aware of local developments that may affect their operations.

“The maritime policies of the European Union have a significant impact on regulatory developments at fora such as the UN IMO, with major implications for ship operators in Europe and globally,” Panagiotis Laskaridis, ECSA President, noted.

“Cooperation with ICS and ASA allows us to enhance our joint efforts to represent the best interests of shipowners, whether at bodies such as IMO or when dealing with the EU institutions,” he further said.