12 December 2012

International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Re-Opens Office in Brussels, Belgium

11 December 2012 - The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) celebrated the re-opening of its Brussels office with the EU maritime community. Representatives from EU Institutions, European and international organisations were invited to an event organised by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) last week. The event was titled, "IACS - promoting global cooperation towards safe and environmentally sound shipping".

The 80 guests included high-level EU Officials from DG MOVE, DG CLIMA, DG ENTR, DG MARE and DG Research as well as EMSA-European Safety Agency, Member States representatives and heads of leading maritime associations such as ECSA, SEA Europe and OCIMF. The broad spectrum of organisations represented is an indication of the desire for dialogue from all involved in the maritime sector. 

In his welcome address to guests, IACS Chairman, Lloyd's Register's Tom Boardley said: "We share many objectives when it comes to the continuous enhancement of maritime safety and the environmental performance of ships. IACS and its member classification societies continuously work with all stakeholders on this challenge in order to maintain the role of shipping as the world's biggest transport sector for cargo transport in a sustainable context driven by innovative solutions". In his speech he touched upon emission reductions from ships, passenger ship safety and the Maritime Social Agenda.

Laure Chapuis, Member of the Cabinet of Commission Vice-President responsible for Transport Siim Kallas outlined some of the common achievements of the European Commission and classification societies which have added to the safety culture and environment-conscious attitude in maritime transport in Europe and beyond. On behalf of Siim Kallas, Ms Chapuis outlined some future projects of major interest for the European Commission DG MOVE such as the Passenger Ship Safety Review and emission reduction dossiers (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of emissions from ships, alternative fuels) where support and input from classification societies would be indeed much welcomed. Regarding alternative fuels, Ms Chapuis noted that VP Kallas was highly supportive of favouring the uptake of LNG-fuelled ships and of classification societies, in their capacity as safety and technical experts, in playing an important role in this process.

IACS Council is meeting in London from 11-13 December and will further discuss the substance of the discussions in Brussels. Before the end of the year, some actions may be finalised, but enough work remains on the table keeping IACS and EU institutions in a dynamic dialogue. As Fotis Karamitsos, Acting Deputy Director General of DG MOVE, said in his short speech during the reception on 6th of December, meetings between the Commission and IACS in the coming year are expected to remain frequent or even gain pace due to the IACS new base in Brussels. 

Source: IACS